Bob's funeral service was recorded in its entirety. If you would like to hear all or part of it, click here

Bob Bartosch, 78 of Whittier CA was called into the arms of his Lord Jesus Christ quite suddenly on December 26, 2006 at his home in Whittier, CA.  Bob and Pauline were co-founders of the Christian 12-Step fellowship of Overcomers Outreach.  This is a passion and a ministry they have shared together since 1977.

Bob is survived by his wife of 56 fun-loving years, Pauline, and his 3 sons and their families: Bob, wife Debbie and children Katie, Matt and Alex; Mike, wife Leslie, and children Alison and Emily; Steve, wife Diane, and children Elizabeth, Valerie, Julie and Gracie.

Bob is a graduate of Bob Jones University, and received his Masters of Science Degree at La Verne University.  He spent many years working for New York Life Insurance Co. and General American Life Co.

Bob loved the Lord and spent many hours in Bible studies always challenging the teachers with a profound but witty opening question.   This was a man who loved life and knew that every day was a gift from God.  He brought the gift of laughter and warmth to all those he came in contact with.  Bob and Pauline were active in a motor home club and spent many days on the road singing as a family when the children were young and then just a duet as time went by.  Bob enjoyed meeting new people and was always quick with a joke.    Bob has been very active in AA as a sponsor and mentor for 33 years.  He has touched and changed the lives of countless people who will forever be grateful to him including people worldwide for generations yet to come in Overcomers Outreach.  A highlight in Bob's life was playing Santa Claus.  His children and grandchildren delighted in the jolly and joyous fun of his antics as he donned his red suit every December.  Bob continued to reach out into the community and neighbors and friends to play Santa Claus as the years went by.

Bob delighted in creating joy for himself and all those around him whether at home, in a restaurant, at a meeting or just walking down the street.  Life was precious to Bob and he made sure that he spread love and laughter wherever he was.  This was a gift that endeared him to so many and one of the memories we will always treasure about him.

God Bless you Bob and thank you for all of the memories, love and laugher!

Some people have offered their thoughts as follows:


I am going to miss my friend Bob Bartosch.

 
From the first time I had him and Pauline as guests on my radio show we became friends and that flow of friendship never changed even when there were long gaps between seeing each other.
 
I could always count on Bob for a smile, a joke, or a word of encouragement. 
 
The ministry that he and Pauline allowed God to establish through them made sense and touched the lives of countless numbers of people.  He stood as an example of how powerfully God will use willing servants even if we've still got some rough edges that need smoothing. 
 
Bob, you were full of life and we are thankful for having known you.
 
Rich Buhler
Broadcaster, speaker, author

 



I hope it isn't too soon to send this, but I wanted to let you know what Bob meant to me.
I'll never forget the night I FINALLY pulled the piece of paper out of my back pocket with your phone number on it and called your house.  It was the middle of the night and Bob answered. I said "Hi, my name is Debbie and I need help."
He said "Hold on.  Let me get Pauline."  (I guess it was too late for him!) You listened to my story and invited me to an Overcomers meeting.  I knew he was laying in bed beside you the whole time because he made a few comments...those famous one-liners... here and there.  I was amazed that you both would give time to me, a stranger, that night. I showed up at the meeting and you know my story from there.  It took 2 years for me to really give it up, 2 years to surrender and try to get sober.  Every week Bob would say "keep coming back" and you would say "don't quit before the miracle happens."


Then I tried to scare myself into sobriety by going to Venice Beach and spending the night with the bums.  Remember that?  The next morning I went to the OO office and shared with Bob what I had done.  He had always chuckled with me about my exploits, but this time it was different.  This time he looked me straight in the eye and said it wasn't funny anymore.  He said he was really afraid that I was going to die and he walked away. Pauline, that struck like an arrow to the center of my heart.  In that moment I knew I had run out of reasons to drink.  Nobody was laughing anymore and it hurt to see Bob walk away.  It had a huge impact on me and later I realized Bob knew just the right way to love me into sobriety.  It was his tough love that shook me. Shortly after that, Mike, (with the moustache) took a chip at an OO meeting and shared how dramatically his life had changed.  Something in my heart clicked and I finally believed the miracle could happen for me.  As you know, I've been sober ever since and will celebrate 20 years this coming summer. The funny thing is, my Venice Beach story became a favorite with Bob.  Every time I saw him he would ask me to share all over again how I ate pizza from a dumpster.  We would laugh, and laugh and laugh and he would say, "I can't believe you did that!!!"


I am really going to miss Bob.  I will miss his emails that came just about everyday.  I could always tell how naughty the joke was going to be by how long the recipient list was.  I never told him this, but I was very proud to be included on the very "short" list which meant I got the worst jokes! I am very sad he is gone, and even kind of mad.  Even though I know Bob is in the big meeting now (I'm sure he showed up at 6:30 this morning)...he's in the biggest OO meeting of them all...it still hurts really bad. I am crying a lot of tears and many of them are for you, Pauline.  But there are thousands of people who have been impacted by you and Bob in the same way I have been, and I know we will rally around you and help you get through this time. I love you so much and wanted you to know the role Bob played in my getting sober.  Whatever good I do with my life is part of his legacy because I truly believe I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for you and Bob and Overcomers Outreach. My prayers are with you and I am grieving with you across the miles.  I will keep in touch and please, let's not put so much time between phone calls anymore, okay?


Debbie

 


In 1977 Bob and Pauline Bartosch started the first OO meeting.  It was the result of tremendous physical, emotional and financial sacrifices by the Bartoschs' and several other people that made this fellowship come together and last over the years.  As the result many, many lives have been changed all around the globe including mine.

My name is Bill I am an alcoholic.  At a time of emotional crisis when my faith and recovery seemed to clash I found refuge in Overcomers Outreach.  Today several years later I can say that Overcomers Outreach was made a huge difference in my life and I am eternally grateful to Bob and Pauline for their pioneering work in Christian Recovery.

Bill D.


 

Bob was a great man and I can only imagine the vast number of lives that have been positively changed by his and your work.   I trust that he is meeting now with Jesus to discuss the first OO meeting in Heaven. 

 

Mark Laaser

 


Dear Pauline and family,
 
When I received the article from ANS News Service regarding Bob's passing, I thought I wanted to write a short note.
 
My brother Roland and I grew up in Whittier. Roland became addicted to alcohol and drugs while attending Cal-Hi. The family attempted to help him and one of the things we did was recommend Bob's program. The program made a difference in Roland's life, spiritually, but he struggled on and off all of his life with drink. The only program he said that helped him was Overcomers.
 
My sympathies to all of Bob's family. He left a wonderful legacy. And by the way, if you haven't thought about doing a story on Bob's life, please consider it. I have helped several people write their family histories, memoirs and legacy letters.
 
Blessings,
 
Allen Stark

Pauline, I got the news of Bob's passing the day before we left the country. I tried to call, and was unsuccessful, but be assured I prayed for you and the family. Bob was such an encouragement to me when I first arrived in California. Gosh, he was such a big hearted man, always supportive and positive. We will miss him and I know it is especially tough on you. I can feel that potential loss even more the longer Ronnie and I are together and the older we get. Take care and I will be praying. Dave

 
DAVID CARDER
E.V. Free Fullerton
 

 

Pauline Bartosch has asked Overcomers Outreach to set up a Memorial Fund in Bob's honor.  Contributions can be sent to: Overcomers Outreach 12828 Acheson Dr., Whittier, CA  90601 with a note indicating Bob Bartosch Memorial Fund.

The funds collected in Bob's memory will be used to further the spread and strengthening of the Overcomers Outreach ministry around the world.