Robert "Robby" Zetlmaier
1948 - 2020
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April 26, 1948 ˜ June 13, 2020

Robert was the 4th of 8 children born to Paul Henry Zetlmaier and Margaret Alice Sloan Zetlmaier in San Bernardino, CA. Since the larger extended family already had a “Robert”, a “Rob”, and a “Bob”, our Robert was always known as “Robby”. The family lived in the mountain town of Crestline above San Bernardino and he attended schools there before enlisting in the Army. From 1967-1969 he was stationed in Berlin as a proud member of the 298th Army Band which contributed to his life-long love of music.
After marrying in 1970, Robby lived in Wauwatosa, WI until 1977, when he and his young family moved to Vancouver, WA at the urging of friends. He worked for various roofing companies in the Portland/Vancouver area as well as for Portland Public Schools until retirement in 2010.
Robby never met a stranger and was loved by all who knew him. He loved helping people and would give the shirt off his back to new and old friends. He had a unique sense of humor adding levity to situations with offbeat jokes or colorful remarks. He enjoyed gardening, woodworking, and had a knack for fixing almost anything. He was most pleased when friends, neighbors, and even strangers came to “Robby’s Garage” for tools, hardware, and advice.
He was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church from 1977 until 2015 where he was well known and a frequent volunteer. He also spent time volunteering at Catholic Community Services and St. Vincent de Paul. Robby was a past member and Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, and enjoyed many boating seasons with the Portland Yacht Club.
In 2015, he moved to Seattle to be closer to his family.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his youngest son, David.
Robby is survived by his wife, Nancy; son, Jon and wife, Megan; and grandson, Evan. Also surviving are 5 brothers: Paul (Anna), Mike (DeeDee), Mark (Kathy), Greg (Francie), and Joe (Kae); and 2 sisters: Margaret, and Marie (Pat) Williams.
Services will be privately held in Seattle due to the pandemic with a Celebration of Life at a later date.
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Published in The Columbian on Jun. 21, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
July 6, 2020
I called him Uncle Robby, but really he's my cousin. His father, Paul and my father, Walter were brothers. I have many fond childhood memories of Uncle Paul. He was my favorite uncle! And Robby, well, he was awesome! I loved him dearly and when my father passed away in 2014 he and Nancy were so wonderful to my mother, myself and brothers. He was always a lot of fun - such a great character. I will miss him, but I have my memories to bring a smile. Rest in peace.
Johanna (Zetlmaier) Brockmann
July 5, 2020
Robby and I are cousins born 1 month apart. We had many good memories as youngsters and early adults. I remember riding behind him around Crestline on his motorcycle and coming up to Crestline for weekend parties with he and his friends. Robby always wanted to enjoy life...and he did! Bless you cousin! Robby with four of his brothers and his uncle Bob.
Kay Zetlmaier
June 29, 2020
Our family has such fond memories of Rob as a most wonderful neighbor of Will and Norma Carlson in Vancouver, WA. He was always there to help whenever called upon, whether as a friend or as a knowledgeable handyman.

He was the quintessential embodiment of what being truly neighborly is all about.

We know that he will be missed by many and our sincere condolences go out to Nancy, Jon and family.

With Love and prayers,
Brad and Mary Carlson
Mary Carlson
June 24, 2020
Nancy and Robby were so kind and helpful to us when we were newbie sacristans and always willing to fill in for us when needed. You have our prayers.
Anne and Rick Battson
June 24, 2020
Nancy , I am so sorry to read that Robbie has died. You were a wonderful couple and I admired that. I am glad that you have family to help you through these times. I think of you often. Truly, Mabel
Mabel Theresa Jones
June 23, 2020
considered Robbie a great friend and brother knight. He gave me good advice while I was Grand Knight of our Council. R.I.P. Brother Robbie
Tim Crouch
June 23, 2020
Robby and Nancy bred Westies and lived down the street. They were always very kind and I learned a lot from them.
Colin McDonald-Smith
June 21, 2020
A jovial and helpful guy who loved a beer and friends as well as his passion for woodworking. I had the pleasure of knowing Robby in the Knights of Columbus and we had many good times together in the organization. May he rest in peace and peace to Nancy and the family.
Fred J Abraham
June 21, 2020
Robby was a good neighbor and I was one who visited Robbys garage. He also did house calls helping me fix things. We missed Robby and Nancy when they moved away. Condolences to his family.
Jennifer McDonald
June 21, 2020

Rob was one of those who touched your heart and my heart is very sad. Faye
Faye Gregg
June 21, 2020
Bobby was such a sweet and loving person. Good memories of Christmas parties on their boat watching the Christmas Boats and just visiting. Always a warm smile and a good conversation.
Anita and Ron Bauman
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