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Robert L. "Bob" Bartels

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Robert L. "Bob" Bartels Obituary
Bartels Robert L. "Bob" Bartels was born on a farm near Gettysburg, S.Dak. He considered Fargo, N.Dak. to be his home town and graduated from high school there. He came to Columbus in the fall of 1947 to attend The Ohio State University. He was a varsity swimming team member, lettering all three years of his eligibility. During those three years, the swimming team won three Big 10 and two NCAA championships, and, in 1949, he was named to the Collegiate All-American swimming team. He graduated with a B.Sc. in Education with a major in Physical Education in 1951. He continued his education, serving as a graduate assistant and freshman swimming coach, and received a Master of Arts degree from the university in 1952. The next autumn, Bartels was named head swimming coach and assistant athletic director at Kenyon College, where he served for two years. In 1954, his Kenyon swimming team won the Ohio Conference championship. This was the first win for the Kenyon team which has continued to win in what has become the longest win streak in sports. In 1954 he was named head swimming coach and instructor in Physical Education at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He remained there until 1959 when he returned to The Ohio State University to begin work on his doctorate. He was named Instructor in Physical Education and also served as assistant swimming coach. He received his Ph.D. degree in 1961, and was named Assistant Professor in Physical Education in 1962. He was named Head Swimming Coach in 1963, succeeding legendary swimming coach Mike Peppe. He continued to serve in this capacity until 1967, when he was named Associate Professor in Physical Education. Bartels was elected to the Board of Directors of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America in 1968, and became President in 1971, serving two years in that capacity. He was given the Distinguished Coach award by that organization in 1972. In 1980, he was given the Honor Award for Service to Aquatic Sports by the Coaches Association. From 1963 to 1986 he served as Chairman of Safety Services for the Columbus Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. He was named Professor of Physical Education in 1972, and began the Faculty/Staff Fitness Program in 1975. In 1979 he was named a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, (FACSM). He served as President of the Ohio State University Faculty Club in 1984, and retired January 1, 1989. He then served as a Professor Emeritus in the College of Education, (Exercise Science). In 1991 he served as President of the Ohio State Retiree's Association. In 1998, he was named to the Ohio State University Athletic Hall of Fame, and was named to the College of Education Hall of Fame in 2002. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Varsity "0" Alumni Association. It has always been a matter of pride with him that he has served as major advisor to nearly 60 Ph.D. graduates of the university. Bob is preceded in death by his beloved wife Janet Rodman Bartels. He is survived by his three children, Janet Ruth Bartels, Robin Lee Bartels Lucas and Robert Redman Bartels, all of whom are graduates of The Ohio State University. Also by 11 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. A Memorial Service will take place on Monday, June 12, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2070 Ridgecliff Road, Columbus, OH 43221, where family will receive friends one hour prior. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Dr. Robert Bartels Men's Swimming Performance Fund #482921, 1480 W. Lane Avenue, Columbus, OH 43221. Arrangements by SCHOEDINGER NORTHWEST CHAPEL. Please visit www.schoedinger.com to send condolences and share memories.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on June 9, 2017
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