Bob passed away August 21, and was buried August 31 at Evergreen Memorial Park, Evergreen, Colorado.
Celebration of Life to be held at 3:00 pm on Sunday, September 17, at Jefferson Unitarian Church, 14350 West 32nd Avenue, Golden, Colo., 80401.
Bob Stelzer was born in Melrose Park, Illinois, the second son of Hans and Gertrude Half Stelzer. Although he was a first-generation American, Bob and his older brother Frank learned only rudimentary German at home. Bob grew up in Forest Park, Illinois, and graduated from Proviso Township High School, where he was on the swim team and earned letters in football and wrestling. At the University of Illinois, he majored in mechanical engineering and earned a letter in wrestling.
After graduation, Bob married Leann Wagle, and they moved to Colorado, where Bob was employed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. He worked on USBR projects in northern California (Trinity Dam), Los Banos, Calif., and Aswan Dam in Egypt. He retired from the Bureau in 1995, but continued to consult for several years.
His parents purchased property in Crystal Lake, Illinois, in 1950. Bob learned the masonry trade from his father and helped build a house on the lake. He also worked summer masonry jobs during his college years. In the 1970s, he built an addition to the house in Lakewood, with help from his dad.
Bob was an adventurous person. He enjoyed canoeing, river rafting, technical climbing, hiking in the mountains, skiing, bicycling, camping, traveling and dancing. He also sang for many years in the Jefferson Unitarian Church choir and enjoyed playing guitar in several groups. He had a wide repertoire of folk songs.
In the 1970s, Bob actively participated in Bicycles Now!, a group that was committed to lobbying for safe bike lanes on Lakewood streets.
One of his cross-country ski adventures involved an unplanned overnight with two friends. He later wrote about it in an article published in Colorado Outdoors.
Bob’s father fought in the German army during World War I. His keen interest in that war led Bob to conduct research and teach classes on the subject.
Bob is survived by three children—sons Kelly and Eric, and daughter Ann (Paul Umbriaco)—former spouse Leann Stelzer, Denver, and sister-in-law Laurel M. Stelzer, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, and a niece and nephew.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that you make a donation to Project Angelheart or a charity of your choice.