Robert Sotzen

Robert Gene "Bob" Sotzen

1958 - 2023

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Obituary of Robert Gene Sotzen

In Loving Memory of Robert Gene Sotzen

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the unexpected passing of Robert Gene Sotzen, a loving husband, devoted father, cherished brother, and friend on October 3, 2023. His life was a testament to the enduring values of hard work, honesty, kindness, and a sense of humor. He leaves behind a legacy of love and laughter, a treasure trove of memories from his upbringing near Lone Tree, his life in Michigan, the enduring bonds of friendships in Riverside, Iowa.

Robert, known to many as Bobby growing up, was born on May 7, 1958 in Fort Dodge, Iowa and was the son of Donald G. Sotzen and Mariel A. Hills.  Robert was a 1976 graduate of Lone Tree High School.  After graduating Robert pursued his love for farming for many years with unwavering dedication. His connection to the Iowa soil ran deep, and he held fond memories of his roots.

In the early 1990’s Robert reunited with Suzanne Shellady who he first met as a teenager in 1976 in Iowa City. Robert and Suzanne were married in 1994 in West Branch, Iowa. Their union lasted for 29 loving years, a testament to the deep bond they shared as they embarked on a new chapter of life when they moved to Michigan. Robert quickly developed many lasting friendships which sparked numerous weekend poker games, hunting adventures, and fishing trips. Robert also spent considerable time in the bleachers watching his children’s baseball games, tennis tournaments, and swim meets. He took immense pride in being able to see Bobby and Morgan graduate from college, pursue advanced degrees, start successful careers, and thrive as young adults.

While Robert had hung up the keys to his combine and “retired” from farming in Iowa, it was not long until his love for agriculture resurfaced in Michigan.  This marked the start of his second career with High Lean Pork that spanned 28 years. He brought the principles of hard work, honesty, and the ability problem solve any situation that arose. 

Robert had an infectious sense of humor and a smile that could light up a room. He was a storyteller, always ready with a tale or anecdote about his experiences hunting, fishing or growing up in Lone Tree. His stories were a source of laughter and joy for all who had the privilege of hearing them.

A true friend to many, Robert's circle of companions in Riverside was wide and close-knit. He offered unwavering support, a listening ear, and a helping hand to those in need. His kind and caring nature left an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of calling him a friend.

Robert is survived by his wife, Suzanne; mother Mariel; brother, Wes and his wife, Linda; sisters, Mindy, Julie and her husband, Thad; children Meagan, Adam, Bobby, and Morgan; grandchildren Selah and Carter. He is also survived by his nieces Alissa, Britni, Baylee and nephews Tyler and Levi.

He was preceded in death by his father, Donald and infant sister, Susan, brother Randy and grandparents, George and Mary Alice (Westcott) Hills and Dorrance and Julia Sotzen.

As we say our final goodbyes to Robert Gene Sotzen, find comfort in the legacy of love and a lifetime of cherished memories he has left family and friends. Robert will forever be remembered for his dedication to hard work, his commitment to family, his unwavering kindness, his infectious sense of humor, and the countless stories he shared.  Rest in peace, dear Robert.