Robert Tetzlaff
1935 - 2012
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Robert Paul Tetzlaff
November 13, 1935 - September 27, 2012
Resident of Los Gatos
Robert Tetzlaff, long-time resident of Los Gatos, CA, was a man of incredible depth and warmth. His three passions in life were his Olympic caliber Cycling career; his forty years of Teaching the children of Daves Avenue Elementary School; and his loving, yet small, family.
The 50's and 60's saw no champion more feared or respected in the arena of competitive cycling than Robert. The holder of numerous National Championships, and a member of two Olympic Teams in 1960 and 1968, as well as a silver medalist in the Pan American Games in 1963, Robert was a pioneer on a road that had not even been sniffed by future greats such as Greg LeMond, whom Robert helped guide in his younger years, along with countless others as a prolific coach, directing aspiring youth to World Championships and records aplenty.
Inspiring and directing youth apparently was in his DNA as Robert coupled a fluorishing cycling career as a competitor and coach, with his chosen profession of Teaching. Starting in a quaint town such as Los Gatos back in the 60's was something that would forever change the man and the loving town that embraced him. Generations-thousands of students all told-have metriculated under the caring gaze of Mr. T. Their children's children would come to love him the same way as their parents did, giving Mr. T. a reputation as one of the men who created the culture of knowledge in the thriving town of Los Gatos. Many people would interrupt his day of shopping or gettng gas with a "Hello Mr. T.!" and an embrace or handshake and a memory passed between them. He never forgot a one, nor did they forget him. Forever he will own a place in his student's hearts.
Lastly, Robert is survived by his soulmate, love of his life, Lorine, and their son, Scott Oliver. Scott was the child of Lorine's first marriage, but Robert took them both, and as he had always done, nurtured and guided, lovingly, the future of the child, and with it, the future of their family. His greatest accomplishments are in his enduring memories, not in trophies or even small write-ups on papers. The fact that his indelible imprint can still be felt warm and alive within generations of spirits, is a testament to his greatness as a man.
It is this man, that Thursday September 27th, saw for the last time. He will be missed greatly and loved forever. Please enjoy a last sprint down the homestretch with Robert at his Memorial Service to be held at Darling Fischer Chapel of the Hills, 615 N. Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos on Friday 10/5/12 at 1:30pm.




To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Oct. 3, 2012.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
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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18 entries
October 16, 2012
We have lost an amazing man that had such a positive influence on so many of us. I am just one of a countless number of past 5th grade students that clearly remember his incredible bike racing stories. Those stories led me to embrace cycling in my own life with a passion that continues today. Thanks so very much Mr. T!
Pete MacRostie
October 11, 2012
As a colleague and friend of Bob, I am saddened by his passing recently and send my sympathy to Lorine and family... Bob's name was legend in the bicycling world!!! He was an outstanding athlete, tremendous, caring person and a dedicated, exceptional teacher! He was an inspiration and great mentor to my son and all of his 5th grade students at Daves AVenue School! He will always be revered and fondly remembered in many hearts... Ride on in the big sky...
June Beeler
October 10, 2012
I wish I could find as dedicated and caring a teacher for my thirteen year old daughter! I loved school with Mr Nelson and Mr T 30 years ago, I have been referring back to those years a lot since my oldest daughter is that age and I can honestly say both of those men made growing up easier and happier. Rest in peace Mr. T, you did a lot of good!
Cynthia Gathman
October 8, 2012
I had Mr. T for 5th grade and to was impacted by this wonderful and thoughtful man. WHat a legacy he left that wont be soon forgoten. My prayers go out to the family. I htink my little girl said it so well. "WOW Mama He is riding his bike all the way to heaven."
Ashley Abell-Boydtsun
October 5, 2012
I remember sitting with Bob and other members of the teachers' union in his classroom, discussing our profession. He was an amazing man and a gifted teacher and will be missed.
October 5, 2012
On behalf of the Mullen Family especially Brian and Kevin, our condolences are with the Tetzlaff family. We have many fond memories of Mr. Tetzlaff
Lynn and Jim Mullen
October 4, 2012
My condolences to Mr T's family and friends. I remember talking to him when I enrolled my son at Daves Ave. and that, while he said me being there with Mikey made him feel old how he looked just the same (1990). It was so good to see him. He was a kind person and a wonderful teacher!
Janice Jacobi (Beatty)
October 4, 2012
Great memories of him bringing his bike to school at Daves Ave.
Terry Zimbelman-Titus
October 4, 2012
I was a student of Mr. T and I can remember in 5th grade what impression he made on me about life, cycling, education. My deepest sympathies go out to his family.
Loree Ferla
October 4, 2012
Bob was my 5th grade teacher in his first year teaching at Daves Avenue school. He so inspired me that I am still, at age 61, an avid cyclist.

Lee May
Lee May
October 3, 2012
Mr. T was my 5th grade teacher in '68/'69. As a class we missed him that Fall while he was in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. He pushed all of us to be champions. He pushed us all to complete the President's Physical Fitness award. I remember he and I being nose to nose on the standing broad jump which I was struggling with. He made so many other parts of that year fun. He was of a special group of teachers that I was fortunate to have had and to leave a positive mark.
Many sincere thanks and sympathies to his family.
Tracy (Baker) Mesa
October 3, 2012
Mr T was also a great coach to up and coming young racers like I once was. His tireless efforts to keep the Los Gatos Bicycle Club (LGBC) and the Cats Hill Race always moving forward. You will be greatly missed by all who knew you.
Russ Rinfret
October 3, 2012
Bob was a tremendous athlete and my friend from the cycling of the 50's. We loved sharing memories. He loved his family and will be missed greatly. My prayers are with you Lorine. I love you both.
Bobby Kemp
October 3, 2012
Last week, the world lost a great athlete, coach, and teacher – Robert Tetzlaff – my 5th grade teacher, cycling coach, and friend. Mr. T, as most of his students knew him, was an amazing person who touched the lives of so many people through his love for the sport of cycling and his passion for teaching. I am so blessed to have known, spent time with, and been inspired by such a great man. May the teachings, inspiration, drive, and passion that he shared with the world be everlasting.
Stacy Black
October 3, 2012
Mr "T" and Mr Nelson's class was one of the best experiences on my life! I always remember my T with his bike and his charasmatic personality. He will be deeply missed but always remembered as a great man. My deepest condolences to the family.
John Whitworth
October 3, 2012
My heart goes out to the family during this time of loss. I was one of the fortunate ones to teach with Bob at Daves Avenue School.Although Bob was only at Daves a few years while I was here before he retired, I will treasure my memories of him. I used to love how he would take a quick catnap during lunch on the couch in the staff room! I am confident he is now riding his bike in heaven with a smile on his face.
Teresa Bonner
October 2, 2012
I'm sorry I can't be with you on the homestretch, Bob, but know that I cherish the time I worked with you at Daves. Thank you for all the love you showed at school and in the community. My heartfelt condolences go to Lorine and your family.
Patricia Jackson
October 3, 2012
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
Darling Fischer Chapel of the Hills
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