Robert Leon Breitenbach
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11/25/1942 - 8/26/2013
Robert (Bob) Leon Breitenbach, age 70, died unexpectedly on August 26, 2013. He was born on November 25, 1942, in Waverly, Ohio. He was the son of the late Gilbert and Marvel (Brown) Breitenbach. He attended Morehead State University and graduated from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1963. He began his 50-year career as a funeral director at the McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home in Middletown, Ohio, following graduation. He purchased the funeral home, which became the Breitenbach McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home in 1978. He married Lillian Lewis in June 1965, in Middletown, Ohio. They were married until her death in July 1979. He married his wife of 33 years, Tina Breitenbach, in January 1980.
As a funeral director, Bob was highly respected among his colleagues and served on the National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association Board for six years. In addition to Bob's endless service to a multitude of families during their greatest time of need, he also demonstrated his love for his community. He gave back to Middletown through his service and support of numerous organizations including Middletown United Way, Middletown Community Foundation, Miami University Middletown Foundation, Middletown Arts Center, Middletown Symphony, Hospice of Middletown, Shriner's International, Masonic Lodge, and Atrium Foundation. As a couple, they established the Bob and Tina Breitenbach Scholarship Fund to support women returning to further their educations. Bob was a devoted member of the First Baptist Church for 35 years. He served the church in several capacities, including Chair of the Capital Campaign Building Fund, Church Moderator, and participated in missionary work in Thailand. He was a major contributor of funds for the construction of the House of Love Orphanage in Thailand. Bob was an active member of the Middletown Rotary Club for over 40 years. He was not only proud to be a Rotarian, but really lived his life by their motto of "Service Above Self". He had been serving the Middletown community since the age of twenty-one and September 30, 2013, would have marked the 50 year anniversary of his dedicated work to families in Middletown and the surrounding area.
Bob was the pillar of strength and safety for all his family. There is nothing he wouldn't sacrifice to make everyone feel protected and cared for in his presence. He had a quiet, gentle spirit, yet lived life veraciously. From growing up on a small farm, two things always guided Bob's life: strong morals and a great love of nature. He was one to take chances and was always up for an adventure. Bob loved to travel and he was never a tourist, but a true explorer. He soaked up the language, the culture, the food and the people in his desire to see the world. Leading by example, he instilled in each of us a servant's, and a teacher's heart. He had such a love of knowledge and always sought to learn more, and then to share it with others. He was witty and had a great sense of humor. Bob truly enjoyed making others smile. He could captivate anyone with his storytelling, and never met a stranger. He treated everyone with respect, regard and genuine interest. He treasured his friendships in this community, and all the ones he made, literally, around the world. With his wife, Tina, he loved taking care of his lawn, gardening, and just spending time outdoors. He had a passion for tennis and golf, and enjoyed playing both, with his wife and friends. One of his biggest joys was music. Whatever the genre, music always filled his home.
For the last ten years of his life, Bob was blessed to fulfill his most cherished role as "Papa" to his four beloved grandchildren. His love for nature and all of God's creations is deeply rooted within each of them. Bob reveled in family traditions, birthdays, holidays, visits and vacations. Whether skipping rocks in the river, fishing, or snorkeling in the ocean, he encouraged their inquisitive minds and wanted them to experience the world around them. Although 3,000 miles separated him from his children and grandchildren, he was never a long distance Daddy or Papa. His devotion shone from here to California.
Bob is survived by his wife of 33 years, Tina Breitenbach, daughter Jennifer Breitenbach Cole and son-in-law James Cole, daughter Monica Wagner, granddaughter Grace Cole, identical twin grandsons Luke and Jack Cole, and grandson Will Cole; one brother Gilbert (Mary) Breitenbach, numerous nephews and nieces, and countless friends. He will be missed by us all.
"Well done my good and faithful servant." Matthew 25:23
Visitation will be held on Friday, August 30th, at Breitenbach McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm and 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, August 31st, at the First Baptist Church, Middletown, Ohio. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. at the church. Burial will follow at Woodside Cemetery, Middletown, Ohio. A guestbook is available at www.breitenbachfuneralhome.com. Memorial contributions may be made to Middletown Community Foundation's Bob Breitenbach Memorial Fund, First Baptist Church Building Fund, WHIIMS, or Middletown Rotary Club.
Published in Gold Country Media Newspapers on Sept. 4, 2013