Bartel family obit

Rob Bartel

Rob Bartel, 66, of Columbia, Missouri, died on May 10, 2020, at University of Missouri Hospital from complications of a stroke suffered during surgery.

Rob was born in Columbia and graduated from Hickman High School in 1971. After earning a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1978 from the University of Missouri-Columbia, he moved to Oregon to begin his career in computer engineering. He started a family and was a devoted father, coaching little league, sharing his love of computers, serving as Scout Master and watching his sons play football. He served as a role model at work and in life, encouraging a love of learning, innovation, challenge and growth both personal and professional. Rob returned to Columbia in 2006.

As a senior software developer for iGrafx of Portland, Oregon, he spent his career as a computer software problem-solver, taking on difficult projects as a process modeling and software architect. He was well-respected, and colleagues shared that “Rob would always solve problems no matter what kind.”

Committed to bettering his community, he was a champion of Kate’s Heart, active in Metro Rotary, the Unitarian Universalist church and several other service organizations.

A man with a kind heart, great compassion and bright mind, Rob was also selfless and humble. He cared deeply and unconditionally, making each person feel special. What friends said:

  • “He made every person that he met feel cared for, listened to and beautiful.”
  • “He wanted to know the things that people felt were important, and he wanted to journey along exploring that with them.”
  • “Rob was incredibly generous and kind. He had a really great laugh. And he looked upon the world with clarity and courage.”

He was well-known for his wonderful “Rob hug.”

Rob was fiercely dedicated to his family, from his 97-year-old mother to his newest grandchild. Time with his family and friends was his most cherished resource. Rob fought bravely and we desperately wanted him to win this battle. We loved and cherished him and he loved us back in his deep and wonderful way.

Rob is survived by his mother, Marie Bartel; fiancée, Elaine Alleman Martin; sons, Zack (Cara) Bartel and Jake (Kim) Bartel; grandchildren, Ben, Blair, Ryder, Kayden and Mila; Elaine’s children, Alex Martin (Katherine McKean) and Andrea Martin; sister, Susan Bartel; nephew-in-law, Ryan (Jennifer) Kromann; grandniece, Ellie, and grandnephew, Sam; uncle, Mel (Bernita) Bartel; dear friends Jan and Marvin Neitzert; the mother of his sons, Lynda Sweet Bartel; former wife, Jill Ostrow; and many loving cousins and friends. He is predeceased by his father, Robert A. Bartel, and his beloved niece, Kate Kromann.

In accordance with his wishes, his final deed on this earth is to give a gift of life and restored health to others through organ and tissue donation. He will be a hero to people he will never meet, in addition to a hero to those of us who knew him.

A memorial service will be planned later. To honor Rob’s generous support of nonprofits, please make donations to Kate’s Heart, Metro Rotary of Columbia , The Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia or the charity of your choice. If you are unable to make a donation, consider performing a simple act of kindness in remembrance of Rob.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date so we are all able to celebrate together as he would have liked.

Please share memories, photos and condolences either at Heartland Cremation’s website and/or send an email to

It will help his grandchildren know him.

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