Robert (Bob) Sawatzky 1941-2022

Robert {Bob} Sawatzky was born on January 30, 1941 to Menno and Eva Sawatzky at their home in Butler Oklahoma in a small four room house. Shortly after this he went to live with his grandparents for a year because his mom was pregnant with twins and was sick a lot so she couldn’t care for him. His twin brothers Ray and Roy were born 13 months after Bob, and he also had two older sisters, Beulah and Eldeen. When Bob was 3 they moved to a place east of Clinton on an Indian lease, here is where he spent his preschool days. They had cows, pigs and chickens, also a mean rooster, which of course they teased and had a lot of fun with. When Bob was 5 his grandpa and grandma Schmidt moved to California so they moved to that place, and this is where he grew up. With 3 boys within 13 months in age, you can imagine all the trouble they got into. But they had fun!
He accepted Christ as his Savior at the age of 11, and joined the Mennonite Church, later joining the Liberty Baptist Church after moving to Joes, where he served as deacon for many years.
After graduation he went custom harvesting, this is how he met the love of his life, Joyce Fast. Soon afterwards they were married on January 4th 1962. He had a great love for farming so they bought some land east of Joes, raising wheat, and later irrigated corn.
Two children were born to this union, Brenda and Curtis. Besides farming Bob worked for various farmers, drove truck, raised cattle and hogs, and eventually drove a maintainer for Yuma County Road and Bridge. He did this for nearly 20 years then retired. Bob found great joy in raising his two children, of course it was a lot easier when they were younger. The family took many trips, one was to California. We took dads new Chevy pickup, pulled a camper trailer and had a blast stopping a numerous places along the way. We would try to take a trip with the camper at least once a year.
Family time was the best. We learned to swim in a pool in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, it was forty some degrees but we didn’t care, and we almost got carried off by the mosquitos, but still, all good. Later came all sorts of animals, 4H projects, bicycles, motorcycles and eventually cars, all of which got wrecked at some point. He enjoyed watching motorcycle races between his kids and neighborhood kids. Never a dull moment. His kids didn’t make it easy on him. But eventually brought home grandkids for him to spoil, and he did that very well. He would walk the babies around all day so when the tired parents came home after a long day of work, the babies would expect to be carried more, like grandpa did.
He took great pride in each and every one of the grandkids, Brian came first. Grandpa was his best bud and they did everything together. Brian would ride in the combine as Bob picked corn, and napped on the floor at his feet. Austin was next, he also got in on corn harvest but had to ride in the truck with grandma because he was just too small. A few years later came Lance, then Chase. Wow, all boys!! He took time with all these kids teaching them the value of life, taught them how to work, and how to love God. The boys got to go on many vacations with grandpa and grandma, fishing and sight-seeing. He also took them hunting and taught them how to use a gun correctly and how to be safe. This was a must!!
Bob was a huge gun collector and loved showing them off and talking about them. Grandpa also would let them drive, starting off with riding mowers, three wheelers, tractors, combines and numerous pickups and trucks. Bob started a small custom cutting business which he included the boys in. They loved working with grandpa. He taught them how to maintain the equipment and get the work done. They also got paid for this, so even better.
The boys all loved spending time with their Grandpa, during high school he helped them with their FFA projects, Holstein bucket calves. So up early every morning to feed the babies, and a lot of day’s basketball practice after that. Bob enjoyed watching the boys play sports. The year Austin was a senior his football team won state! That was an exciting time. Each one did sports all the time, so many games to watch and he didn’t miss very many. They had to travel a bit to watch Chase but they did it often. Later Lance played college football at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas, but still grandpa made quite a few games. Even afterwards when Lance coached a team of his own in Hoxie, Kansas, he still would go watch, and when he couldn’t he would stream it on the computer. It gave him great joy.
So now the grandsons were grown, and new batch of babies started to make their appearance. Great Grandchilden are Genesis Rea and Noah Scott, born to Austin. Then Ashton Robert and Aidan Nicholas born to Brian, Jaukin Savino and Alexander Blaine, born to Chase, then Lances little girls, Tinley Gene and Zayley Marie. He also welcomed Kyren and Adrian Graves when Austin married Jessica. He loved each and every one so much. As time went on and his health began to fail, he still did everything he could to keep everyone happy, and things running smoothly. It was very hard to see him have to slow down, but I guess that’s what happens.
Towards the end, when everyone knew he felt terrible and probably was in a lot of pain, he never was bitter or mad at the world, and when we would bring him water, food or just give him his meds, he always said Thank You!! His last advice he wanted more that anything was….LOVE EACH OTHER MORE!!!! And I hope and pray that his dying wish will be carried out for each and every one of us. Till we meet again in heaven, WE LOVE YOU!!
Bob was proceeded in death by his parents, Menno and Eva Sawatzky, his parent-in-law George and Esther Fast, 2 sisters and brother in laws, Buelah and Webber Gregg, Eldeen and Eddie Schmidt, one brother Ray Sawatzky, and a sister-in-law Carolyn Sawatzky. He leaves to mourn his wife of 60 years, Joyce, his daughter Brenda and Husband Rob Baar, his son Curt, 4 grandsons, Brian Baar and wife Stacey, Austin Baar and his wife Jessica, Lance Baar and his wife Lichelle, Chase Sawatzky and his wife Elena. 10 great grandkids, Ashton and Aidan Baar, Genesis and Noah Baar, Jaukin and Alexander Sawatzky, Tinley and Zayley Baar, and Kyren and Adrian Graves, and a brother Roy Sawatzky, a sister-in-law Janet Sawatzky a host of cousins, relatives and friends.
Funeral Service – Monday, January 10, 2022 at 10:00 A.M. at the Liberty Baptist Church in Joes, Colorado. Interment followed at the Joes Mennonite Cemetery. Service officiated by Wilfred Fadenrecht and Baucke Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.