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September 22, 2020

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Robert Gratz was a lifelong resident of Bluffton community

BHS grad, WWII veteran, farmer and chorister

Robert “Bob” Evan Gratz, 92, of Bluffton died at 5:23 p.m., Feb. 7, 2020. He was born July 9, 1927, in Allen County at the family home to the late Christian and Caddie (Cook) Gratz.  

Bob graduated from Bluffton High School class of 1945. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduation and served on the aircraft carrier, USS Bon Homme Richard.  

On Sept. 6, 1946 he married Dortha Bridenbaugh Gratz. They were married 73 years. Dortha survives along with their three children, Jane (Jim Pickett) Holliday of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Tony (Joyce) Gratz of Bluffton and Nancy (Bill) Bolka of Muncie, Indiana.  

Also surviving are grandchildren Christian (April) Gratz, Daniel (Joanna) Gratz, Nick (Emily) Holliday, Rachel (Jeremy) Kline, Robert (Teresa) Bolka, Sgt. Nathan Bolka USMC, Karaline Bolka; 10 great-grandchildren; and a brother-in-law, Dan Troxel.

Besides being a farmer, Bob hauled milk, was a security guard at Lima State Hospital and retired from Brink’s Security.  Bob was a lifetime member of Ebenezer Mennonite Church in Bluffton.  He enjoyed music, serving as church chorister and singing in the choir from the time he was the youngest to the oldest member.  He was a member of the Lima Beane Chorus for 25 years, singing and competing in several quartets.  

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; a brother Richard Gratz; three sisters-in-law, Betty Gratz, Thelma Bucher, Anna Ruth Troxel and a brother-in-law, John V. Bucher.

Services will begin at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, at Ebenezer Mennonite Church, Bluffton. Pastor Dick Potter officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.  Visitation will be on Saturday from noon until time of the service.  

Memorial contributions may be made to Ebenezer Mennonite Church or Bridge Home Health & Hospice.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.chiles-lamanfh.com.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Services, Bluffton.