In Memory of Bob Kizer

It is with profound sadness that the Starfish Initiative family announces the passing of our president and CEO Bob Kizer, who finally lost his long, hard fought battle with cancer this weekend. 


Service Information

Saturday, February 25 at 4:00 PM
Emmanuel Methodist Church
16000 Cumberland Road
Noblesville IN 46060

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Bob's honor to Starfish Initiative. Click here to make your contribution.

Bob was an inspired leader with a relentless drive to help others. During his tenure, Bob spearheaded new innovative programs within Starfish that led to the largest Scholar classes in the organization’s history, unprecedented college outcomes and a sound financial position. Everyday, his positive attitude – even during tough times – motivated those around him to make a difference.


His vision for a better community was rooted in the belief that education was key. He put every ounce of his being into the Starfish mission to inspire, encourage and prepare economically disadvantaged students for college and career success. He exemplified this commitment and his unparalleled passion for mentoring not just at the organizational level, but also on a personal one. Four years ago, he became the mentor for Starfish Scholar DeShawn and throughout high school Bob provided the support and motivation for DeShawn to achieve beyond what he thought was possible. Last month, DeShawn accepted a full-ride scholarship to the University of Chicago.


Bob has left an impact on all of us and he has influenced more lives than he’ll ever know. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob’s family – his wife Melinda, his four children, his numerous grandchildren and his Scholar DeShawn.


While we mourn his passing, it inspires us to double-down on our mission to help the youth of Indianapolis, just as Bob did so diligently. As we honor him, we are confident that his legacy will leave an imprint on the lives of many.



Vaughn Broadnax

Board Chair for Starfish Initiative  


Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 25 at 4 pm, at the Emmanuel Methodist Church, 16000 Cumberland Road, Noblesville, IN 46060. Robin Elmerick, Starfish’s corporate relations director, will serve as the interim president and CEO and may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..