Robert Edwin Stoltze was born on May 30, 1924, to Carl and Hulda Stoltze on the family garden farm near Sioux City, Iowa. He passed away on April 6, 2019, at the age of 94, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was baptized on August 2, 1924, and was confirmed on May 22, 1938, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Sioux City, with his faith further confirmed and remaining strong throughout his life as a longstanding member of St. John Lutheran Church in Charter Oak.
Bob attended school at McKinley Elementary School and East High School in Sioux City while working at the family’s truck garden. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army to fight in WWII. After Basic Training in Kalamazoo, Michigan, he shipped out from San Francisco for a 30-day trip on a troop ship to Australia then to Ft. Moresby, New Guinea. He also served in the Dutch East India and the Philippines where he was an MP. Bob participated in several invasions in the South Pacific. He was then posted to the 19th Ordinance Company with his brother Carl until the end of the war.
Bob returned to Sioux City in 1946 where he began work for the Sioux City Post Office. He met and married the love of his life, Elaine, on October 10, 1948. Turning down a permanent position at the Post Office, he purchased a greenhouse business with his parents in East Sioux City and their first child Robert Jr. was born. Bob also worked in construction during which time Bob and Elaine decided that they really wanted to farm. He rented a farm near Lawton for a year and Daniel made his appearance in the family. The small family then moved to Charter Oak where he farmed with Elaine’s parents, Carl and Anna Neddermeyer. Bruce was born after this move, with Susan, Keith, Nancy and William also joining the family at the current family farm location.
Bob and Elaine farmed the rest of their lives at that farm in rural Charter Oak-Ute raising hogs, cattle, corn and soybeans, farming with son Keith and adding land to their farm several times. Bob was a progressive farmer in animal husbandry and was awarded with the Master Pork Producer Award in 1981. He loved being on his tractor, surveying his crops, and gardening, but was happiest being with his loving family. The sign on his shed door says “The Family That Works Together Stays Together”.
Left to cherish Bob’s memory are his wife of 70 years, Elaine; Robert Jr. and Annette, their children James (Jenna), Jason (Niki) and Matthew, and their grandsons, Tyler and Trevor; daughter-in-law Lois, widow of Daniel, and their children Anne, Sonya (Ryan), and Daniel, Jr. and their grandchildren Amelie and Jameson; Bruce and Celeste, their children Bruce, Jr., Andrew (Suzanne), David, Michael, John and their grandchildren Mason, Lydia, June, Zara, Benjamin, and Vera; Susan and Randy Kult, their daughter Jennifer (Jared) Hamilton, and their grandson Gabriel; Keith; Nancy and Terry, Nancy’s children Laura (Jason), Catherine, and Elizabeth, and their grandchildren Isabella and Olivia. He is also survived by his sister, Eva, and sister-in-law, Vera (Hank) and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, sons William and Daniel, great-granddaughter, Cecilia, two brothers, and four sisters.