Robert Buzz Bortel(1924 - 2013)

Robert "Buzz" Bortel December 8, 1924 - February 3, 2013 Buzz Bortel was born in Minneapolis, MN on December 8, 1924. As a young boy he was always 'the new kid' in school as his family moved frequently during the depression for his father to find work. December 7, 1941 brought the US into the Pacific for World War II. As a result, Buzz was drafted into the Navy where he served honorably as a Signalman 2nd class. In 1948, while working in the candy department of Dayton's in Minneapolis, he met and fell in love with Lila Mae Winn. They were married on August 28, 1948 and enjoyed 46 years together before Lila returned home to Our Lord in 1994. Buzz, Lila, Paula and Brian moved to Thousand Oaks in 1962. Buzz was working for Litton as a Change Analyst. After restructuring at Litton he eventually ended up at Western Airlines as a Radio Mechanic. He retired as Western was bought out by Delta, thus avoiding a move to Atlanta. He retired for good April 1, 1990 and never looked back. He kept busy with RV trips, radio control model airplanes and projects around the house. He also enjoyed playing the harmonica and listening to traditional country music. In 1995 Buzz joined his daughter Paula in a move from Thousand Oaks to Bakersfield. After the move Buzz continued to enjoy his lifelong hobby of radio controlled model airplanes. His fleet grew to over eight planes. He also joined the Kern and Taft Gold Prospectors clubs where he learned to pan for gold. Buzz had started riding motorcycles just before the move to Bakersfield. And then he discovered Harley-Davidson motorcycles! He became a member of HOG and enjoyed many rides and events while owning five different Harley's over the years. In 2004 Buzz and daughter Paula moved to the Green's an "active 55+" community in Bakersfield. This offered Buzz the opportunity to join water aerobics, bowling and lots of social events. While the diagnosis that year of Alzheimer's ended his driving he still remained active, including walks, bowling, and dances with his lady Faye. As the Alzheimer's progressed Buzz enjoyed attending the Adult Daycare Program provided by ADAKC. The folk there soon picked up many of Buzz's favorite sayings such as "See you around like a donut!" Buzz was freed of his earthly bonds on Sunday, February 3, 2013 - he now joins Lila in God's heavenly domain. Buzz is survived by his daughter Paula Bortel, son Brian Bortel, daughter-in-law Joann Bortel, grandchildren: Matthew Bortel, Jessica Bortel, and Elizabeth Bortel, brother-in-law Donald Winn, "daughter #2" Lynne McMaster, and dog Oliver. Paula and Brian wish to thank so many, including: the Alzheimer's Disease Association of Kern County (ADAKC) Adult Daycare Program and personnel, CTSA, Pacifica Senior Living, Hoffmann Hospice, Gracious Living Elder Care, Compassionate Care, Lynne, Jill, Gloria, Yoko, Wayde, Eric, and many more! In lieu of flowers, consider a gift in honor of Buzz to ADAKC - 5500 Olive Dr., Bakersfield CA 93308. Join us for a celebration of Buzz's life on Saturday, February 23 at 1:00 p.m. At the White Oak Clubhouse in The Green's. 2209 Snowdrop Drive, Bakersfield CA. www.bakersfield.com/obits

Published in Bakersfield Californian on Feb. 17, 2013