Robert Wurtzer, of Rancho Cordova, earned his wings on January 31, 2023, at the age of 81.
Bob was born on December 3, 1941, in Baltimore, Maryland, to Robert and Katherine Wurtzer. He grew up with two younger brothers and shared many entertaining stories of their family life.
After graduating from Brooklyn Park High School in 1960, Bob worked at various jobs, including a dairy farm, before enlisting in the Navy as an electronics technician during Vietnam. While he was stationed at Treasure Island, his cousin introduced him to the love of his life, Marla. They married in 1968 and attended Fresno State, graduating together.
They moved to Livermore to start their family, welcoming a daughter and two sons. Bob was a wonderful husband and father. Two of his favorite songs were “Love Without End, Amen” and “The Prayer of St. Francis.” These songs beautifully illustrate how he loved his family and lived out his faith. He exemplified strong character and kindness in all he did.
Bob was adventurous, wise, and renowned for his ability to solve problems of every kind. Not only did he run a successful technology business for several years, including traveling to places such as Saudi Arabia and India, he was involved in his community and always there for his family. He was a soccer coach and 4-H leader, and a member of men’s groups and prayer groups. He loved taking his family on adventures such as hiking in Yosemite and sailing. One of his exciting achievements was hiking to the top of Half Dome.
Bob was incredibly generous, always willing to help. A notable example is the year he made several cross-country trips to donate bone marrow and platelets for his brother. Even in the busiest seasons of life, his friends and family could count on him.
Bob was never afraid to try new things. At the age of 60, after selling his business, he went back to college for his teaching credential. He became a teacher of math and metal shop at the middle school, high school, and college levels. He also coached a successful Robotics team at Granada High.
Bob was the beloved grandfather of nine grandchildren and one great grandchild. Grandpa was known for his excellent advice, humorous sayings, stories, family vacations, delicious meals, and for his strong, supportive presence in his grandchildren’s lives.
In his retirement, Bob enjoyed volunteer work at the VA hospital, Navy reunions in Branson, MO, vacations with Marla or with the whole family, and the fellowship of his breakfast group and church. One highlight was a family trip to Breckenridge, Colorado, to celebrate Bob and Marla’s 50th wedding anniversary. He always had ideas for new trips and adventures.
Bob was an avid reader, and enjoyed great conversations and music. Another lasting legacy is his artistry and talent for woodworking. He created heirlooms, such as handmade cradles for his grandchildren, and many other beautiful items, that his family will treasure forever.
At the end of any conversation, Bob always assured his family of his love and prayers, encouraging them to “Stay the Course.” Although he is greatly missed, he will live on forever in the hearts of his family and future generations.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Katherine Wurtzer, and his brother Francis Wurtzer. He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Marla; children, Kristie (Rex), Aaron (Angel), and Adam (Zoua); grandchildren, Katherine, John, Mark, Frances, James, Caleb, Ella, Ian, and Jordan; great grandson, Giovanni; brother, Lee Wurtzer (Marie); many brothers and sisters in law; and several nieces and nephews.
Friends and family are welcome to attend a funeral mass for Bob at St. John Vianney Church, in Rancho Cordova, on February 21 at 10:00 AM, with a reception to follow.