May 23, 1945 - October 17, 2021
Surrounded by his loving wife of 54 years and seven children Robert L Witte, age 76 of Napoleon, passed away at Hospice of Defiance on October 17, 2021. Robert was born on May 23, 1945, in Findlay, Ohio to Leonhard and Edna (Tietje) Witte. Robert was baptized on June 17, 1945, at Hope Lutheran Church in Hamler, Ohio. Bob attended St. Paul Lutheran Church and School where was confirmed on May 17, 1959. After graduating from Napoleon High School in 1963, Bob attended The Ohio State University for two years. He returned home to Napoleon, Ohio, which led to his careers at Campbells Soup and 37-plus years at Automatic Feed. Throughout his employment at Automatic Feed, Bob was a mechanical engineer in the design and drafting departments and was instrumental in implementing initial CAD/CAM systems. Bob won the heart of LaDonna Bockelman, and they were married on June 10, 1967, at St. Paul Lutheran Church. They were blessed with seven children, 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Faith and family were always a big priority in Bob’s life. Bob was actively involved at St. Luke Lutheran Church where he served in various roles including treasurer, deacon, anniversary committee, school board, leading and participating in bible studies, working alongside trustees on building projects, and teaching Sunday school for 25-plus years. Bob received the Ohio District Sunday School Teacher of the Year award in 1997. Additionally, Bob held several offices in the Lutheran Laymen’s League and was an ambassador for Lutheran Hour Ministries. Bob enjoyed family vacations to Sage Lake, fishing with loved ones, working on family projects around the farm, and watching grandchildren’s sporting events. Bob loved spending time at family gatherings which often included barbecuing chicken. One of the founding members of the Bavarian Haus in Deshler, he enjoyed building the club with his uncle Arnold Tietje and working at polka dances. Throughout his life and during their battle with cancer, Bob and LaDonna approached everyday by reflecting on words from Psalm 118:24 “This is the Day the Lord has made, let us Rejoice and be Glad in it!” Even through suffering, Bob found comfort in God’s grace. Bob desired all to experience the same grace, comfort and love which only comes through Christ. Visits with loved ones ended with the words “Ich liebe dich” which translated to English means “I love you” followed by a large hug saying “1-2-3 squeeze to pieces”. Bob is survived by his loving wife LaDonna and children: Tim (Lisa) Witte, Rhonda (Kevin) Ripke, Teresa (Scott) Sickmiller, Douglas Witte, Matthew Witte, Catherine (Brian) Elling, and Christine (Nathan) Espinoza. He will also be missed by his grandchildren: Samuel Witte, Meaghan, Andrew & Macee Ripke, Melissa (Brandon) Smail, Brandon, Hannah, Erica, & Olivia Sickmiller, Jacob & Jarrett Witte, Ava, Jonah, & Eliza Elling, Owen, Emma, & Cali Espinoza, his great grandchildren: Elias Quinones, Charlotte Smail, and siblings Noreen (George) Witte-Pugh, Evelyn (Noble) Rye, Kenneth (Ann) Witte, James (Anne) Witte and many nieces and nephews. Bob was preceded in death by parents Leonhard and Edna Witte, Father and Mother-in-law Elmer and Olga Bockelman, Brother Raymond Witte, and Son-in-law Scott Sickmiller. Viewing will be held at Rodenberger-Gray Funeral Home, Napoleon on Thursday, October 21, 2021, from 2:00 PM until 8:00 PM. Funeral services will be held at St. Luke Lutheran Church on State Route 108 in Wauseon, Ohio on Friday, October 22 at 11:00 AM with an hour of visitation prior to services. In Lieu of flowers and gifts, memorials may be made to Lutheran Hour Ministries, St Luke Lutheran Church, St Paul Lutheran School, or donor’s choice. Online condolences and messages may be shared with the family at rodenbergergray.com.
Surrounded by his loving wife of 54 years and seven children Robert L Witte, age 76 of Napoleon, passed away at Hospice of Defiance on October 17, 2021. Robert was born on May 23, 1945, in Findlay, Ohio to Leonhard and Edna (Tietje) Witte. Robert... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
Surrounded by his loving wife of 54 years and seven children...View More
Flowers & Gifts
Send flowers to the Witte family.Send Flowers