Robert Arthur Bretz Sr. completed his journey on earth Dec. 16, 2013, after two years of declining health.
He was born in Sandusky Nov. 16, 1925, and lived in this area most of his life. Meeting him in Heaven is his wife, Louise (Laramie) Bretz, who passed away May 22, 1994. They had been married for over 46 years.
Robert, better known as “Bob,” or by his nick name “Yogi,” was a long-time member of the Resurrection Lutheran Church. He was involved in the Boy Scouts of America as assistant scoutmaster of Troop 10 during the 1960s and 70s, as he enjoyed camping and other outdoor activities. He was also a life-long fishing enthusiast.
An honorably discharged U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, he saw service in the European Theatre as part of the crew of USS LCG (L) Gunfire Support Craft, earning Theatre Service and Good Conduct Citations. His ship provided covering fire to troops landing at Utah Beach on D Day, June 6, 1944. It was on this day he acquired a treasured family heirloom - a British Union Jack snatched from a nearby landing craft that was abandoned and sinking.
His service to his community and country continued after his return to the United States, where he served for several years in the Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary, riding with patrolmen to provide backup and support.
Bob worked for Apex Manufacturing in the late 1940s. He started at OE Meyer in January 1950 as a welder, and then progressed through various delivery truck routes delivering welding supplies in north central Ohio. Later in his employment he was the branch manager of the Fremont location for several years, and was eventually appointed purchasing manager for the company, the position from which he retired in 1992.
Later in life, Bob grew interested in photography, and could often be seen out and about snapping pictures of local points of interest. He especially enjoyed spending time at Cedar Point with his camera. His work won several ribbons at the Erie County Fair, and the July 4th Stars and Stripes celebrations.
Bob especially loved celebrating Christmas, one of his favorite times of the year, and was always his happiest during the Christmas season. His home was the neighborhood holiday gathering place for friends and relatives for many years.
Bob is survived by his four children, Marie (Gary) Hoch of Sandusky, Robert (Donna) Bretz of Sandusky, Timothy (Karen) Bretz of Westerville, and Randy (Lesley) Bretz of Sandusky; seven grandchildren, Joshua Hoch, Sarah Hoch, Jennifer Frazier, Katherine Bretz, Calista Bretz, Alex Brennan, and Olivia Bretz; eight great-grandchildren, Zack, Regan, Tyler, Alexis, Robbie, Emily, Jaelyn, and Joel; brother, George (Joyce) Bretz of Huron; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
In addition to his wife, Louise, he was preceded in death by his parents, August George Bretz and Elizabeth Ruth (Link) Bretz; and one brother, William J. Bretz.
Friends may call 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at Groff Funeral Homes and Crematory, 1607 E. Perkins Ave., Sandusky. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20, at the funeral home, with Pastor Kathy Schuck and Pastor Darell Gant presiding. Burial will follow at Oakland Cemetery, Sandusky.
Those wishing to contribute to Bob’s memory may do so to Stein Hospice Services 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, OH 44870, or Back to the Wild, 4504 Bardshar Rd., Castalia, OH 44824.
Condolences may be shared at grofffuneralhomes.com.