Robert W. Hartz, age 76, of Lewiston, died on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 in Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, after a brief illness. Robert was born June 19, 1937 in Oil City, PA, the son of the late Robert C. and Geraldine (Carey) Hartz.
He was a graduate of Oil City High School where he was an All-American basketball player. Robert received his B.S. Degree from Clarion University in Clarion, PA and his Masters in Education from Buffalo State Teacher's College. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1962 and was stationed in France for over two years. He was honorably discharged in 1965. Robert was a science teacher in Western New York for 33 years. He began his career in the Sweet Home School District where he taught for three years. For the next 30 years Robert taught in the Wilson School District where he also coached baseball, track and basketball, retiring in 1999.
An accomplished musician, he had a band, "Bob Hartz & The Pacemakers" for 25 years. Robert also was active in many organizations. He was past Master of the Charlotteville Lodge #73 F&AM in Newfane; a member of the Elks Club in Lockport, the Lewiston Lions Club, the American Legion, Eagles Club and the Polaski Club, all in Oil City, PA; as well as the Shriners in Ft. Myers, FL where he spent half the year. Robert was a 10-year member of the All Faiths Unitarian Congregation in Ft. Myers and also played drums in its resident band. Robert was also a great lover of animals, a life-member of the Musicians Union, an avid golfer, and an extreme fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He is survived by his companion of 11 years, Carol Sommer and her daughter, Michele Ninacs; his children, Robert P. Hartz of Wilson, James D. (Amy) Hartz of Kenmore, NY, Michael C. Hartz of Buffalo, NY, Elizabeth Hartz of Tonawanda, and Bryan Hartz of New Paltz, NY; and his grandchildren, Emma, Joshua and William.
Friends may call at HARDISON FUNERAL HOME, N. Fourth & Ridge Streets, Lewiston on Monday, July 15th from 4-8 PM. A Masonic Service will be held in the funeral home at 7:45 PM, followed by military honors. Burial will be private in the Grove Hill Cemetery, Oil City, PA. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lewiston Jazz Festival, P.O. Box 663, Lewiston, NY 14092; or to the Niagara County SPCA, 2100 Lockport Rd., Niagara Falls, NY 14304.
Please visit www.hardisonfuneralhomes.com for online registry.