Robert H. Dobratz, husband of Gloria, age 75, of Hutchinson, Minnesota, passed away on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at his home in Hutchinson.
Memorial Service will be held on Monday, March 11, 2019, at 11:00 A.M. at Peace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson with interment at a later date.
A Gathering of Family and Friends will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.
Robert Herman Dobratz was born on August 24, 1943, in Hutchinson, Minnesota. He was the son of Arthur and Evelyn (Tabbert) Dobratz. He was baptized and confirmed in his faith at Peace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson. He was a graduate of Hutchinson High School Class of 1961. Following high school, Robert served in the Army National Guard for six years.
Robert was united in marriage to Gloria Leinonen on September 23, 1967 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in French Lake, Minnesota. Their marriage of 51 years was blessed with five children, Paul, Becky, Steven, Julie, and Jodie.
It gave Robert great joy to live his entire life on the family farm. Highlights during his farming years included being awarded the Young Farmer of the Year in 1978, having Governor Carlson tour the farm during his State of the State address in 1992, achieving the Century Farm distinction in 2008, and earning fourth place in the Minnesota Corn Growers Association corn yield contest in 2012. Robert retired from dairy farming in 1996 and from farming his land in 2013. Robert worked at Ag Systems from 1997 until 2014 where he greatly enjoyed his work and the friends he gained there.
He was an active member of Peace Lutheran Church his whole life where he was involved in a variety of activities, attended Bible study, and sang in the church choir. His favorite songs to sing were upbeat spirituals.
Robert had a zest for life and displayed that through his interests and activities. He loved socializing and telling jokes. His hobbies were playing accordion and tractor pulling, and he enjoyed them most when he was sharing them with others. He played his accordion for birthdays and get togethers, and he gathered the family for tractor pulls at Rose City and the McLeod County Fair. He enjoyed listening and dancing to country and old-time music. At wedding dances, he would be on the dance floor for “Fishing in the Dark,” “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” any song by Alabama, and every polka. Robert cherished his time at home working on the lawn and yard with Gloria.
Following Robert’s ALS diagnosis in January of 2015, he displayed the true depth of his faith and character. He bravely endured unimaginable loss and difficulties, and through it all remained faithful to God and made every effort to live life to the fullest. He unintentionally inspired so many people by his grace in living with the disease.
His legacy of hard work, steadfast faith, strong spirit, perseverance, and giving his best in all he did serves as a testimony to the people who knew and loved him, his grandchildren, and to future generations.
Robert passed away on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at his home in Hutchinson, Minnesota at the age of 75 years, 6 months, 6 days. He will be missed by many, but his memory will continue through the people he loved most.
Robert is survived by his:
Wife, Gloria Dobratz of Hutchinson, MN;
Children, Paul Dobratz of North Mankato, MN,
Becky Puckett and her husband, Troy, of Hutchinson, MN,
Steven Dobratz and his wife Amanda of Parkers Prairie, MN,
Julie Flann and her husband, Zach, of White Bear Lake, MN,
Jodie Pahl and her husband, Chris, of Blaine, MN;
Grandchildren, Amanda Puckett, Ashley Clemensen and her husband Matt, Gracie Puckett, Summer, Arewen, Autumn, and Averie Dobratz, Rylie and Eli Flann, Vince and Lydia Pahl;
Great-Grandchild, Callen Clemensen;
Mother, Evelyn Dobratz (Evie) of Silver Lake, MN;
Sister, Margaret Wehking and her husband Delmar, of Parkers Prairie, MN;
Many other relatives, friends, and an amazing team of nurses and medical professionals that provided excellent care for four years.
Robert is preceded in death by his father, Arthur Dobratz, his father-in-law and mother-in-law John and Emma Leinonen, and his brother-in-law Robert Leinonen.