Robert Wanzer
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Wanzer, Robert F.


Pittsford: Passed away peacefully at his home, 94 years young, on January 23, 2016. Bobby Wanzer is known throughout the Rochester community for his accomplishments as a basketball player and coach. He was a member of the championship Rochester Royals team, 5X NBA All Star and NBA Most Valuable Player in 1953. "Hooks" was the first NBA player to shoot over 90% from the free throw line. He was St. John Fisher's first basketball coach and the basketball court is named in his honor. Bobby Wanzer is an elected member of the Naismith NBA Hall of Fame, US Marine Corps Hall of Fame, Seton Hall College Hall of Fame, and others.

Bobby is remembered by his family as a loving, charismatic husband, father and grandfather. Bob loved everyone and everyone loved him. His family and friends will miss his sense of humor, wit, charisma, smile, love of life, and love of golf and the 19th hole.

Pre-deceased by his wife, Nina Penrose Wanzer and son-in-law, Darrel Dupra. He is survived by daughters, Mary and Beth Wanzer; son, Bobby (Nancy) Wanzer; grandchildren, Jeff, Zach and Whitney Dupra, Marti and Madison Wanzer; great-granddaughter, Seneca Hernandez Dupra; sister, Marilyn (Robert) Ulrich.

Friends may call Tuesday, Jan. 26th, 4-7 PM at the funeral chapel (2305 Monroe Ave.). Friends are invited to bring a written memory of Bobby for the family's memory book. A Funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, 10 AM at Church of the Transfiguration, 50 W. Bloomfield Rd., Pittsford. Interment will be private. Memorial donations may be directed to the Wounded Warrior Project or to Pittsford Volunteer Ambulance. To share a memory or leave a condolence for the family visit

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle from Jan. 24 to Jan. 25, 2016.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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32 entries
January 18, 2020
Bob was my hero growing up. I was the bellboy for the Royals back in the glory days of the late 40s and early 1950s. He often picked me up after school and we would go to the old Edgerton Park Sports Arena where he would practice his set shots and free throws!
He always gave me birthday &Christmas cards. I still miss him. What a great man he was ! Brownie Newman
Browning Newman
January 18, 2020
My late husband Charlie Lorenzo, (passed 1|27|17) was a longtime admirer & friend of Bob.
They often had lunch in Fl, w/Pep Saul. Bob was a fine gentleman.
Mary Jane Lorenzo
January 31, 2016
Beth, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending prayers your way during this difficult time. Mary Beauchamp
M Beauchamp
January 28, 2016
Beth, so sorry to hear about the death of your dad. God Bless, Patty Finn Wixted
January 28, 2016
Beth, We are so sorry to hear of your father's passing.
He seemed so full of life. thoughts and prayers are sent your way.
Bill and Sally Amber
January 28, 2016
Mary Beth Bobby,so sorry to hear of your Dads passing.We are going to miss Bob coming to our house for Ziti chicken and broccoli and also shrimp alio olio.Our prayers are with him and the family.

Mary& Angelo Paglia
Florida& Cape Cod Ma
January 27, 2016
On behalf of the Ronald McDonald House Charities, we would like to thank the Wanzer family for the beautiful bouquet of flowers donated to the House today.
January 27, 2016
Beth and family my thoughts and prayers are with you.
God Bless,
January 27, 2016
It wasn't until I met Coach Wanzer at St. John Fischer College; and under his guidance and tutelage only then did I learn how to play the game of Basketball!!

In addition, I grew to know and admire someone who not only knew how the game was supposed to be played; but someone who had played the game at its highest level with the greatest of finesse.

During the years I played under Coach Wanzer I was most privileged to watch how the game of life is to be played as well. Family, friends, sports and finesse in dealing with the hardest of times.

I was privy to meeting and knowing his lovely wife Nina; and getting to know Mary, Bobby and Beth as well. I hope you thre have some measure of the admiration and respect I have for your father. And I sincerely hope that you know that I am someone that treasures the relationship I have with you three that was forged by playing basketball for your father.

Our heartfelt condolences to you all.
Dr. James & Sandi Brooks
January 27, 2016
So long, Coach. Thank you. (Fisher class of '78)
John Rice
January 26, 2016
Dear Beth & the rest of your family,

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. After seeing all the tribute's on the news about this man who had great achievements, who knew it turned out they were addressing your dad. I saw you & your family by his side at one of those tributes honoring his accomplishments. What a great memory for you all to remember that it was your dad that achieve great moments in his lifetime. Not only was he a great basketball player & made it to the NBA, but honored our country, & became from what I hear, was a loving husband & a proud father of his kids.
God Bless to you & your family as you will be in my thoughts & prayers at this moment of your loss.
Take Care, Tammy Coriddi
Tammy Coriddi
January 26, 2016
Mary, Bobby & Beth, I played basketball & golf for your dad in the early 80's & then coached with him at Fisher for a few years after that. he has had a tremendous impact on my life since the day I met him. There are so many life lessons that I learned from & still use today. I will always smile & laugh when I think of him. My heartfelt condolences to the family. R.I.P. "Wanz"! We love you!
Pat Romano
January 26, 2016
Mary ,Bobby, Beth. So sorry to hear about your Dad. We have wonderful memories of all the fun times we had on Fairhill Drive. Your Dad and Mom were such beautiful people . Much love. The Millers
January 26, 2016
Mary, Beth & Bobby,

You all know how special your Dad was in my life. He helped make me who I am and I learned so much. I also had a chance to get to know you all and your amazing Mom.

We are all so much richer for his presence on the planet and grateful forever for having known him so well. A wonderful life so well lived.

Love you all!

Tom Proietti
Tom Proietti
January 25, 2016
Mary, I am so sorry for the loss of your father. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Deneen Monacelli
January 25, 2016
Beth, back when you and I were suite-mates, you told me that every time you had a cigarette your dad would hear it in your voice and give you what-for. I always thought it was sweet that he knew you so well. Very sorry for your loss.
Diane Benard Barrington
January 25, 2016
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Pete & Ruth Mania
January 25, 2016
God Bless. Your Dad was one of my boyhood basketball heroes. I remember well watching many of the Rochester Royal's games at Edgerton Park Sports Arena. Les Harrison, the Rpyals owner, was a personal friend of one of my boyhood pals. Wander and Davies, a great backcourt pair with Arnie Risen and Arnie Johnson, Red Holzman up front. 1951 , a championship season!
James MacKay
January 25, 2016
Our Thoughts and Prayers are with you all. Wonderful memories of your dad and growing up with the Wanzer family (Fairhill neighborhood).
With all our love,
Rhonda Culpepper Gillus, Reva Culpepper and family.
Rhonda Culpepper Gillus
January 25, 2016
Beth, You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers

Gale Jones
Gale Jones
January 25, 2016
Bob - My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your dad.

Warm regards, from your friends and former teammates.

David Yanik
Milford CT
January 25, 2016
Thoughts & prayers to the Wanzer family. My Dad, Hesh Rosenblatt, spoke fondly of "the Bobby twins". Hesh was so happy to be in Springfeld for the celebration at the Hall of Fame induction in '87. From the spirit of my father -- Semper Fi.
Chuck Rosenblatt
January 25, 2016
I am the former owner of the Portside sports-bar and one day my customers were engaged in a conversation on who was the best center in NBA history. I said well let me call Bobby Wanzer. I called info, was so glad the phone number was listed and was greeted by the lovely Mrs. Wanzer ,os sure let me get him. Bobby was so gracious to point out Wilt changed the game,and later players also had their greatness ,like Kareem,Shaq. Bobby was fair andto my customers honest with his opinions as we passed the phone to one and other!I and my patrons were so thrilled to have an icon share his time with each of us. RIP Bobby, Jimmy Cianciola
January 24, 2016
I have known of your dad since I was a child growing up in Rochester. My dad was a basketball official who knew your dad well. When I was a student at Fisher, your dad was the basketball coach. I will say a Mass for your dad this week.
Fr. Dennis Kauffman, C.S.B.
Fr. Dennis Kauffman
January 24, 2016
Bobby, Mary and Beth- So sorry for your loss. I remember your dad very fondly.
Nancy Wolff-Leitten
January 24, 2016
.Our hearts are heavy on the loss of our dear friend Bob
Wanzer.. He was a renound basketbal
l star, but more importantly a remarkable man and friend. May he rest in peace. We will miss him here in Fla. Charles & Jane Lorenzo
January 24, 2016
Bob Wanzer was my hero growing up in the 50's. I was the ball-boy for the Rochester Royals. Bob used to pick me up after school and take me to the Sports Arena where he would shoot free throws by the hour. I was the one who threw the ball back to him after every shot. I was as proud as he was that he shot over 90% from the free throw line. Bob was the last survivor of the great Royals teams (NBA Champs 1950-51). RIP dear friend, you are now with Nina, the love of your life.
Brownie Newman
January 24, 2016
Beth & Family:
Sorry to hear of your father passing. Thoughts and prayers with you all.
Sam & Laurie
Sam Moag
January 24, 2016
"Hooks"....He was more than a coach and teacher...If you were lucky enough to know him, it was much more than about basketball, it was about his love of life. Those that met him know what I mean. We will miss his impish smile..and his fun way of speaking....and getting his point across....Howie Kavanagh
Howard Kavanagh
January 24, 2016
I'm very sorry for your loss. Although I didn't know Bob, he was a great neighbor.
January 24, 2016
Coach Wanzer was one of God's true gifts to St John Fisher. His contributions could be measured by wins and losses but will be measured by the number of positive impacts he had on all the students of the college. God Bless the Wanzer Family - thanks for sharing your Dad w/ all of us - we all loved 'The Wanz'!
Clancy Merrill
January 23, 2016
A very sad day for the Wanzer Family and the Fisher Family. There was no greater man, patriot, and coach. Coach Wanzer taught me and so many others to play the game of basketball he right way, always had time for everyone, had a great smile, and a terrific sense of humor. God Bless "Bobby" and my sympathies and prayers go out to the Wanzar family.
Bob Moline
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