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Reverend Robert "Rob" Dotzel

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“Good by my dear cousin. How I miss your smile and your giggle. May God watch over your familyKarla Walker Welsh ”
1 of 42 | Posted by: Karla Welsh - Sparks, OK

“Dear Dotzel Family;I am so saddened and heartbroken to learn just now of the passing of Rev. Bob. I was overseas during his illness and passing . I...Read More »
2 of 42 | Posted by: Shams Ghoneim - Iowa City, IA

“Bob performed my marriage ceremony at Faith Lutheran in October 1984 and Stephanie played violin. He also baptized our first born. I will always...Read More »
3 of 42 | Posted by: Alicia Pearson Martindale - IA

“Pastor Dotzel performed my marriage ceremony at Faith Lutheran in October 1984 and Stephanie played violin. He also baptized our first born. I will...Read More »
4 of 42 | Posted by: Alicia Pearson Martindale - IA

“Dr. Dotzel was truly a man of God. I was fortunate enough to be in one of his World Religion classes at Kirkwood. That was six years ago but since...Read More »
5 of 42 | Posted by: Adam Doscher - Iowa City, IA

“Hi Stephanie, you have my prayers this day for strength. May you and your daughters be uplifted by the presence of all those attending Bob's...Read More »
6 of 42 | Posted by: Mary - Boynton Beach, FL

“Rob will be missed in so many ways by all the people who knew him. He was a magnificent, gentle, caring human being whose wisdom and intellect set...Read More »
7 of 42 | Posted by: Michael and Diane Sondergard - IA

“I have such fond memories of Pastor Bob from his time at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, IA. From the youth group and bell choir...Read More »
8 of 42 | Posted by: Beth (Franzman) Sigmund - IA


9 of 42 | Posted by: Lucy - Iowa city, IA

“Cathy and I would like to extend our condolences to Robert's family. We are their neighbor, and always enjoyed chatting with Bob when working...Read More »
10 of 42 | Posted by: Gary Kellogg - Iowa City, IA

“I worked with Rob's eldest daughter, Krista, in college. Through her I met Rob and Stephanie. They welcomed me into their home with open arms. I...Read More »
11 of 42 | Posted by: Allison H Donnaell - Iowa city, IA

“Stephanie, Karen and I extend our deepest sympathies to you and your family. Rob was a great colleague to work with; always with a smile,...Read More »
12 of 42 | Posted by: Brian Middleswarth - Iowa City, IA

“Rob was one of the best persons I have met on this earth. In an era when no podcasts were in existence, I would attend multiple services to listen to...Read More »
13 of 42 | Posted by: Joe and Sharon Bertroche - IA

“Remembering him fondly here at St. John's Des Moines. ”
14 of 42 | Posted by: evelyn davis - Des Moines, IA

“Rob was a long time cherished colleague in the Lutheran Ministry. I am sad to read of his death. There are few better than he. As pastor, chaplain,...Read More »
15 of 42 | Posted by: Terry Slinde - Clive, IA

“Dear Stephanie and family, I was so saddened to hear of the death of your dear husband and father from my sister Karen and my Mom Diane Ekstam....Read More »
16 of 42 | Posted by: Mary Helen Ekstam - Naperville, IL

“I took a class with Rob while attending Kirkwood. He was such a great instructor as well as a great person. May you rest with God Rob! Thanks for...Read More »
17 of 42 | Posted by: CR

“I remember Bob and Stephanie from St. John's in Des Moines. I was in Cathedral Choir with Stephanie and my children were young at the time. It was...Read More »
18 of 42 | Posted by: Sue Bartik (formerly Whitehead) - IA

“Stephanie, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Please know that you and your family are, and shall remain, in my prayers. ”
19 of 42 | Posted by: Myron McReynolds - Coworker

“Stephanie, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Rob. My thoughts are with you and your daughters. Sincerely, Pam ”
20 of 42 | Posted by: Pam Ehly - Iowa City, IA - Friend

“I am so sorry to read of Rob's passing--it was only 2 months ago we were enjoying the Norwegian dinner together at Christ the King church. You two...Read More »
21 of 42 | Posted by: Helen Ringgenberg - Iowa City, IA

“Pastor Rob was my campus pastor and my friend. He generously gave me a home for 2 years in the Lutheran Campus Ministry (Christus House) during a...Read More »
22 of 42 | Posted by: Roger Davis - East Lansing, MI

“Kirkwood Community College in Iowa City sends our deepest sympathies. Rob was a great instructor who regularly filled his classes here. He was well...Read More »
23 of 42 | Posted by: Dr. Ann Valentine - Iowa City, IA

“I knew 'Bob' when I was a 4 year old member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Salina, KS. He and Pastor Gustafson used to visit with the Four Wonders...Read More »
24 of 42 | Posted by: Ruth Ann Zimmer - Hays, KS

“I became a Lutheran because of Pastor Rob and his amazing gift for ministry. I was also blessed to play music with his wife and daughter. He will...Read More »
25 of 42 | Posted by: Liz King Ziemann - Vernon Hills, IL

“I am sorry Mrs. Dotzel for your lost... NWJH orchestra ”
26 of 42 | Posted by: Bukiwa A - Iowa City, IA

“My memories of pastor Rob come from st johns:Lutheran in des Moines is. He always had the best personality and a very good pastor. My. Condo land...Read More »
27 of 42 | Posted by: barb espelund balster - IA

“Leave a condolence or a memory. ”
28 of 42 | Posted by: barbespelund balster - des moines, IA

“Stephanie and Family I'm so sorry for your loss. I came to know Pastor Rob when he was working at campus ministries and when he became pastor at...Read More »
29 of 42 | Posted by: Richard Madden - Iowa city, IA

“Stephanie and family, Oh how much I loved and respected Rob. Ron and I are deeply saddened by his passing. Our hearts go out to all of you. You...Read More »
30 of 42 | Posted by: Sharon Hanson - Coralville, IA

“Paul and I send our sincere condolences at this sad time. You are in our thoughts. ”
31 of 42 | Posted by: Valerie McNally - Iowa City, IA

“Rob (at the time, Bob to me) and I met when he was a sophomore and I, a freshman at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. We enjoyed each other's...Read More »
32 of 42 | Posted by: Jon Zehnder - Lindsborg, KS

“I just really felt moved to want to say something. Unfortunately, unlike a lot of people that will pass this by and mention knowing him in some way,...Read More »
33 of 42 | Posted by: Joey Gilbert - New York City, NY

“Prayers and blessing to Rob's loving family. ”
34 of 42 | Posted by: Cathy Divine-Koch - ames, IA

“Rob was an important figure in my life especially during the time of Karl's illness and passing. I'm so sad to hear of his passing. Prayers and God's...Read More »
35 of 42 | Posted by: Cathy Divine-Koch - ames, IA

“Pastor Rob was a wonderful mentor and pastor, and it was a privilege to get to know him both as the Lutheran Campus Minister and as Pastor at Gloria...Read More »
36 of 42 | Posted by: Jonathon Struve - Decorah, IA

“Rob and I were campus pastors at the same time (he in Iowa city and I in Fargo, North Dakota) and saw each other at various campus ministry events in...Read More »
37 of 42 | Posted by: Bill Russell - Minneapolis, MN

“When my daughter left Texas for Iowa to attend college, I prayed fervently for angels to watch over her. My prayers were answered the day she walked...Read More »
38 of 42 | Posted by: Marcia Smith - Fairfield Bay, AR

“I am so sorry to hear that Pastor Rob has passed away. Stephanie, you will remember being in Junction City, Kansas in 1983 and how much you and Rob's...Read More »
39 of 42 | Posted by: Rev, Robert Schneider - Largo, FL

“Rob has ministered so faithfully, so wisely and so well. In him people have seen Christ Jesus. I will miss him very much. ”
40 of 42 | Posted by: Norma Cook Everist - Dubuque, IA

“Dear Stephanie and family, I am so sorry to hear about Pastor Rob's passing. I have very fond memories of attending Lutheran Campus Ministries at U...Read More »
41 of 42 | Posted by: Marjorie Gere - Somerville, MA

“I'm so sorry for your loss, Stephanie. Please know that people of St. Andrew Lutheran Church are praying for you and your family. Let us know if...Read More »
42 of 42 | Posted by: Rev. Zachary Johnson - IA


The Rev. Robert D. Dotzel (Rob) of Iowa City, Iowa, died peacefully at his home on February 7, 2016, with his devoted wife at his side. Rob died after a valiant effort to defeat a virulent form of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme. He was 62 years of age.

Rob was born on December 28, 1953, in Dubuque, Iowa, to Deneen and Mary Dotzel. A younger brother, Dennis, joined the family in 1959. He attended schools in various communities in Kansas, as the family followed his father's career. He met his future wife, Stephanie, in Salina, Kansas, while doing youth work at Immanuel Lutheran Church during and after college. He graduated from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, with degrees in German, Philosophy, and Religion. He was fluent in German and spent several months in Tutzing, Germany, in 1976. He and Stephanie married on July 22, 1978, at Immanuel Lutheran Church.

In 1978, Rob and Stephanie moved to Columbus, Ohio, where Rob attended Trinity Lutheran Seminary. He received his M.Div. and was ordained in 1982. He was then called to serve as pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Junction City, Kansas. In 1986, he accepted a call to St. John's Lutheran Church in Des Moines, Iowa, where he served until 1989. While there, Rob and Stephanie welcomed their first child, Krista, in 1986. After that, the family moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Rob was the pastor at St. Andrew Lutheran Church. While in Cedar Rapids, a second daughter, Rebekah, joined the family in 1990. In 1997, Rob was called to be the Lutheran Campus Pastor at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He led students on cultural immersions to such places as San Bernardino, California and Nicaragua. He served as an inspiration to his students, many of whom went on to become pastors themselves. In 2008, Rob also became an associate minister at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. During this time, he also taught World Religions at Kirkwood Community College, which he immensely enjoyed. In 2014, Rob was called as Senior Pastor at Gloria Dei, and was installed in July. His tenure there was cut short as a result of his illness and Rob reluctantly resigned his position in May 2015 .

Rob and Stephanie enjoyed many enthralling trips with their daughters over the years, and especially enjoyed traveling to Ireland and later Germany, where Krista attended graduate school. Rob loved to cycle, and frequently spent his spare time bicycling the neighborhood streets of Iowa City or the country roads nearby. He also enjoyed fly fishing in the trout streams of Northern Iowa. He took pleasure in the collegiality of a group of local pastors who became known as the Seven Reverends.

Rob is survived by his wife, Stephanie, of 37 years, and his daughters Krista (Paul Drechsler-Martell) and Rebekah (Adam Olesen). He is also survived by his parents, Deneen and Mary Dotzel of Topeka, Kansas, and by three nieces and a nephew. His brother Dennis predeceased him in 2015. Rob was beloved by many friends, colleagues, students, and parishioners. He touched lives everywhere he went.

A funeral service for Rob will be held on Friday, February 12, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church,123 E. Market St. in Iowa City, IA. A luncheon will be held at the church directly after the service. Visitation will be held at Gay and Ciha Funeral, 2720 Muscatine Avenue. Rob will be interred on Sunday, February 14th, 2016, at Zion Presbyterian Cemetery in Schapville, Illinois, where a commendation service will be held.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.