Robert Kandall Braatz, 76, longtime resident of Rochester, passed away at Cottagewood Senior Communities on Sunday, November 19, 2017. He was born September 4, 1941 to Robert and Erma Braatz of Litchfield, MN, and was one of five children. Siblings are Marianne Holmgren, Bill Braatz, Larry Braatz and Linda Holmgren.
He graduated from Litchfield High School and attended Olivet Nazarene College in Kankakee, Illinois. Following college, he began a long career in the tire business, including Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Brad Ragan Tire, Hanson Tire and, finally, Midstates Retreading and Wholesale from 1983-2003, where he served as co-owner and CEO.
After he retired in 2003, he dove into his hobbies with the same gusto that he lived life- full steam ahead and full of purpose. Those hobbies included woodworking, gardening, his animals (horses and dogs) and vintage cars. Since 2006, he was a member of the Ladyslippers Model A Club. One of his favorite projects was building a vintage 1940's MG TD "kit car" in the early 1980's. He joked that it looked like one owned by gangster Al Capone.
He was also a member of Calvary Evangelical Free Church in Rochester where he served in several capacities over the years, most recently as usher. He preferred to serve at both services so he could be sure to greet everyone.
In 1962, he married Rose Holt and they became parents of four daughters: Melissa Jakobitz (Sleepy Eye, MN), Kristina Elseth (Washougal, WA), Karrie Diggs (Chestertown, MD), and Emily Barnhart (Rochester, MN). Emily passed away in February of 2015.
He is survived by his wife Sandi (Bailey- married in 1990) and stepson Troy, both of Rochester; three daughters, (Melissa, Kristina and Karrie), 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 27, 2017 at Calvary Evangelical Free Church, 5500 25th Ave. NW, Rochester, MN 55901 with Rev. Kevin Barnhart officiating. Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment will be at Grandview Memorial Gardens. To share a special memory or condolence, please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com
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