Robert “Bob” George Gatz, 75, of Hill City, passed away Thursday, December 24th, 2020 surrounded by his daughters. He was born November 15, 1945 in Minneapolis to Norman and Dorothy (Foss) Gatz. Norman passed away when Bob was only 6 weeks old. Bob was raised by his second father and Dorothy’s second husband, John Anderson. Bob graduated from Patrick Henry High in Minneapolis where he was an accomplished gymnast. He served in The United States Army, where he was stationed in Germany. Following his service in the Army, Bob went to Vietnam as a civilian during the Vietnam War to be with his brother, Roger who was serving. Bob was the only honorary member of the gunship platoon called The Mavericks. Bob was married to Penelope Kremer and they had three girls, Kimberly, Michelle and Amanda. Bob worked in the northern Minnesota mines while he put himself through college at Bemidji State where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Technology. Bob had a long career in maintenance engineering at Minnesota Power where he worked until his retirement. Bob was co-founder of the Palisade Mountain Men. That dream started in 1969 on the shores of Red Lake in Palisade and continues to this day at the present site, the Palisade Mountain Man Fort on the banks of the Willow River. Bob was never a man to sit still. He was a Captain Sailor of his boat Ghost Rider. He spent his summers in Bayfield, Wisconsin, sailing Lake Superior and exploring the Apostle Islands with his friends and family. When he wasn’t sailing, he could be found at the family farm in Palisade or traveling the county, visiting his many friends. He loved watching the Minnesota Vikings football games at the Vikings Barn. Bob was a kind and loving man. He was always upbeat and happy to see you when you walked in a room. He made everyone feel loved, supported and welcome. Bob never judged and was a true leader. He was always busy working on projects. Everyone always knew they could count on Bob for a helping hand. He was one that not only believed that family was most important but lived that way. From road tripping around the United States with his girls, to tagging along on every adventure he could. He loved spending time with his grandsons, sharing, teaching and building memories. We are all so blessed to have had Bob in our lives. He will forever be in our hearts and greatly missed.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents; brother, John Anderson; brothers-in-law, Fritz Burfeind and Robert Meger; niece, Shari Meger.
Bob is survived by 3 daughter, Kimberly (Rod) Kern, Shelly (Troy Halvorson) Gatz and Mandy Gatz; 2 grandchildren, Jared and Travis (Mariah) Kern; siblings, Dick (Jan) Gatz, Cheryl Burfeind, Roger (Shelly) Anderson, Margie Meger and Doug (Barb) Anderson; several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Visitation for the public will be held Wednesday, December 30th from 5-7 PM in Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin. A Private service will be held Thursday, December 31st at the funeral home followed by a Graveside Service with Military Honors for the public at 12:30 PM in Pine Grove Cemetery, Palisade. A Celebration of Bob’s Life will also be held at a later date at the Palisade Mountain Man Fort. To leave an online condolence, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Aitkin.
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