It is with great sadness that we announce that in the early morning of April 11th, 2020, surrounded by his family, Robert Michael Holzer, amazing husband and father of 3 sons, passed away at the age of 78.
Robert (Bob) was born on February 24th, 1942 in Westlock, Alberta. He was raised on a farm in Legal, Alberta with parents Mike and Johanna and his four sisters, Judy, Dorothy, Susie and Rose. Bob attended the University of Alberta achieving a baccalaureate in education, beginning his teaching career in 1964. In 1965, he married the love of his life Simonne (nee Langevin), and together they welcomed three sons, Michael, Mark and David. The family continued to farm while Bob was a teacher, administrator and coach in Legal and Morinville, eventually finding his way the St. Albert Catholic School District, where he enjoyed a long and well-established career. Bob, Simonne and their children lived a full life together in St. Albert, while farming in Legal and spending beautiful summers at Moose Lake (Bonnyville).
Bob was a giant of a man, the stories we heard about him took on a Paul Bunyan legend over the years. It was a common occurrence to meet someone, who would ask “Are you related to Bob Holzer?” and then be told some amazing story about him. Or to be asked, “Was Mr. Holzer your Father? He was my principal” and then hear how he influenced their life. As a coach, Bob was an intense competitor, coaching multiple different sports, but having his greatest success in volleyball, where he led Morinville to two provincial championships. He was beloved by all his colleagues, students and players, continually pushing them to succeed, but always there to provide guidance and support, Bob was always “Coaching”.
In 1998, Bob retired from teaching, but his desire to expand himself led to consulting for the Management Information Group. There he began training teachers and administrators all over North America, he loved the challenges and travels that came with this new career.
To us, his family, Bob had to be giant to hold his huge heart. He was a devoted husband for 54 years to his wife Simonne. He truly earned the title of “Worlds Greatest Dad” to his sons. He was kind and gentle, firm when needed and unfailingly supported us and was there when we needed him. There never seemed to be anything he didn’t have an answer to or know about. If we needed anything, you just called ‘Dad’ and he was there.
Bob’s biggest joy and most beloved role started in February 1999 when he welcomed his first grandchild. Over the next 15 years, Bob and Simonne would welcome a total of 12 grandchildren. Being a grandfather, ‘Papa’, brought him tremendous joy, love and fulfillment. Of all the roles in Bob’s life, this was his most cherished.
“Our Papa was the most loving and dedicated grandfather we could ask for, and he was always there for us grandchildren. He never missed a hockey, baseball, or basketball game. He gave free driving lessons, watched endless “performances”, sat though countless dance recitals, track and field meets, speed skating competitions, and art exhibits. Papa changed numerous diapers and fixed broken bikes; he built planes, skateboards and beautiful doll houses. He was always willing to drive across the province for a sports tournament, spend a day at Skeleton Lake, and take us to Disneyland. Papa loved to visit his grandsons in Texas no matter how hot and humid it was. Papa was a big teddy bear; he was always telling corny jokes, remembering random facts, and asking us skill testing questions. He had a famous sweet tooth and never showed up to a dinner without a box of donuts. He celebrated all our milestones, no matter how big or small, like they were award winning accomplishments. From first steps to high school graduations, we could always count on Papa to be there for us.”
Surrounded by his adoring family, the loving and kind-hearted Robert Holzer passed away on April 11, 2020, at his home in St. Albert, after a short battle with Multiple Myoloma. Bob will be forever loved and fondly remembered by his wife of 54 years, Simonne: his children, Michael (Monique), Mark (Misty) and David (Colleen): his grandchildren, Matthew, Hannah, Holden, Will, Hobbes, Josh, Aaron, Hollis, Houston, Hopi, Hartley, and Hayes. Bob was predeceased by his parents, Mike and Johanna, two sisters, Dorothy and Rose and his grandson, Hollston. Bob will always be remembered as a devoted husband, dedicated father and adoring grandfather.
We would like to recognise and thank Dr. Raymond Asongwe for years of care. Our sincere thanks to Dr. Chris Venner and all the staff in Unit 31 at the Cross Cancer Institute for their excellent care and compassion. As well, many thanks to our friends at Respiratory Homecare Solutions and the wonderful nurses at Nurse Next Door, who lovingly cared for Bob and our family during his final hours at home. Bobs life will be celebrated in a private family ceremony due to the limitations of Covid-19.
For those wishing, memorial donations can be directed to the Cross Cancer Institute in Bob’s name. To send condolences and share memories with our family, please visit www.connelly-mckinley.com
Connelly-McKinley Funeral Home
St. Albert Chapel