Robert James Kohtz
November 22, 1946 – February 19, 2021
Bob Kohtz died on February 19, 2021 after a long course of treatment for cancer. He was at home, with his family surrounding him. He was known for his kindness, generosity, humility, and love of his family and friends. He should be remembered as someone who treated everyone well, and who maintained his optimism and grace through the challenges of his illness.
Bob was born in Pigeon, Michigan. His childhood home was in Sebewaing, Michigan located in Michigan’s “Thumb” region. His parents, Walter and Geraldine Kohtz owned a successful small business there. Bob has an older brother Jack Kohtz, who resides in Sebewaing today. Bob left Sebewaing to attend College at Central Michigan University where he earned his undergraduate degree in Education. Central Michigan University was where Bob first began taking courses in Radio Broadcasting, which led to his life long career in radio.
Upon college graduation, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, and was stationed in Saigon, Vietnam. He was assigned as a broadcaster for the Armed Forces Vietnam Network as the Program Director, and hosted what was known as the “Good Morning Vietnam!” show listened to by the American troops stationed there during the Vietnam war. Bob received multiple honors during his course of duty; the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Joint Services Commendation Medal.
After being discharged from the military, Bob returned to Central Michigan University and received his MA in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts. Bob had been discharged from the military through Fort Ord in Monterey, California, and was taken by the beauty of the area. He returned there, and worked at radio KMBY on Cannery Row, from 1972 to 1974. In 1974 Bob moved to San Jose, California, after being offered a job at radio KSJO. In 1976 Bob met his wife Coleen. They married in 1977. Bob also began his 29-year association with KBAY radio in that year, where he was an on-air personality and Program and Music Director.
While radio was a significant part of Bob’s life, his immediate and extended family were his greatest love. Bob and Coleen’s son Elliott Kohtz was born in 1984. Elliott went on to marry his wife Jennifer in 2016, and to Bob’s great happiness his grandson Jack Robert Kohtz was born in December of 2020. It was his deepest joy that in the last months of his life, despite his illness, he was able to meet and hold his grandson Jack. Bob was enormously proud of his son Elliott, and his daughter-in law Jennifer.
Bob is pre-deceased by his parents Walter and Geraldine Kohtz. He is survived by his wife Coleen, son and daughter-in-law Elliott and Jennifer Kohtz and new grandson Jack. He is also survived by his brother Jack Kohtz and wife Kayleen, sister-in-law Gloria Hernandez and husband Mani, brother-in law Tom Cheney and wife Nancy, nieces and nephews Karen Nolan (Bud), Keith Kohtz (Tammy), Karol Haag (Scott), Rob Osborne, Allison and Clayton Cheney, Eliot Hernandez. Great nieces and nephews Mikala and Landon Kohtz, Abby and Adam Haag.
The family will have a private memorial. Those who would like to honor Bob may make a contribution to Martha’s Kitchen, 311 Willow St. San Jose, CA or to a charity of their choice.
- Martha’s Kitchen
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Robert James Kohtz
March 4, 2021
My very deepest sympathy goes to Bob's family and friends. He was a loved and treasured friend, and one of the most honorable people I've ever known. Every memory of all the good times, and our long, laugh-filled lunches will always make miss him even more.
February 28, 2021
Dear Coleen and Elliot,
Having a man like Bob in your life is a blessing. He was my first boss at KBAY and treated his staff like personal friends (we were) and like a concerned dad too.
I'll always cherish his understanding of my having an ill child, and letting him stay with me at work when needed. Bob was an extremely well-loved manager who went above and beyond for his staff.
That positive, warm attitude was so enjoyable on the air. Listeners loved hearing about Elliot growing up and mentions of you, Coleen.
I hope Bob knew how much he was appreciated and admired. In my many, many years in broadcasting, Bob holds a place at the top of my favorite people list. God bless ❤️ --Jona. My photo is from 2019 when Bob and Stephen Taylor stopped by my show for a mini reunion.
Elaine and Jim Karas
February 27, 2021
Dear Colleen: Jim and I send you our heartfelt condolences. We will keep you and your family in our prayers. So glad he was able to meet his grandson. Warmly, Elaine and Jim Karas
February 22, 2021
My sincere condolences to Bob's family! I am another classmate of Bob's from the class of '64 and fortunately had 4 great years there of knowing him. I remember Bob as a very intelligent, friendly guy and great musician in the HS band along with his closest friend Jim Rummel. Luckily, after our service time, Bob would come home to see his Mother and family and we would meet for a class reunion at Jim Gettle's pole barn and possibly for a cocktail or 2.
Rest in Peace our good friend and Viet Nam Brother! Gary
Arlene Nimtz Schweitzer
February 21, 2021
Gratuated with Bob.. Sorry to hear of another classmate passing.