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.
Broadcaster, speaker, author
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.
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.
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.
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
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.