Obituary of Robert A Holzbacher
Robert (Bob) Holzbacher passed away on December 28, 2019 in Largo Florida, with his family at his side. He was born on April 17, 1946 to the late Robert and Eula Holzbacher. He was also preceded in death by his sister Deborah Brown. He is survived by his three children, Gretchen Vetter (Josh) Kurt Holzbacher (Cheri) and Jennifer Rehm(Ted). Bob has three grandchildren, Cole, Kaitlyn and Aubrie and one living great grandchild, Emberlynn. He has one living sister, Donna Cautela (Rick).
Other relatives include his two nieces, Christina Royer and Tara Cautela-Owings. Two nephews Dustin Holzbacher (Racheal) and Nathan Brown (BillyJean) and six great nephews, Louie, Richard, Augustus, Zane, Robert, and Theo, and two great nieces, Riley and Reagan.
Bob was born in Columbus, Ohio and was in the first graduating class of Brookhaven High School. After high school he was inducted in the army on September 4, 1965. He served in Vietnam as a door gunner on a Huey helicopter, serving in the 71st Aviation Company. He distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism while engaged in combat in Vietnam. He received the air medal with the “V” device as well as a purple heart, a Vietnam Campaign medal with two stars, a National Defense Service medal, and a Marksman/Aircraft Crewman badge. He came home on September 6, 1971 and then fulfilled his Reserve obligation. In 2006, the state of Ohio awarded him by inducting him in the Ohio Hall of Fame for Valor.
Bob married Cynthia Brandon and they had three wonderful children. Although they eventually divorced, they remained close. Bob was truly his own man and had a no nonsense manor. If you did not know him well, he could be somewhat intimidating but once you got to know him, you would find a fun and loving man with a love for his country. Bob had many interests which included hunting, fishing, and cooking. He liked to cook what he brought home from hunting and fishing. The most interesting things he brought home were alligators and snakes. He told us that alligator tasted like chicken, and snake was delicious! We did try it and it wasn’t bad but one needed to acquire a taste…..
Bob had many friends. He worked at the Sheraton Sand Key Hotel in Florida for years. He often said it was the best place he ever worked. He made many lifelong friends there. He was active in his Masonic Lodge until he became ill. He belonged to the American Legion. Dave Edwards was a good friend over the years and was a member of the legion and Masons with him. He loved history, particularly, Civil War history. His favorite place to go was Gettysburg which he visited every year with family and friends. He met two very special friends up there, Butch and Sandy Youncofski and scheduled his visits to Gettysburg to match theirs every year in October.
Bob lived in a duplex, with him on one side and his landlady on the other. Her name was Lucy. Over time, they became good friends. She enjoyed Bob’s company playing cards. Bob began to have serious health issues and Lucy was always there to help him. When his illness progressed and he could no longer live independently, she was always there for him. Not only was Lucy there for him but her whole family, Karl, Patrick and Olivia were as well. Our family cannot thank her and her family enough.
Bob suffered for years before they diagnosed him with Parkinson’s disease which affected every part of his body. Bob never complained, and he enjoyed what he had, friends, football, especially the Ohio State Buckeyes. He was an avid reader and embraced life. If you planned a visit he requested a cheeseburger and milkshake. Bob’s body gave out but his mind was sharp as a “tack”. We know Bob is in a good place now. God got a very good man.
Graveside services with military honors will take place at 2 p.m., Friday, January 24, 2020 at Bay Pines National Cemetery.To send flowers to the family of Robert Holzbacher, please visit Tribute Store