Robert E. Bretz

February 8, 1941 – April 28, 2021

Robert “Bob” Bretz, 80, passed away in his home in Socorro, NM on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 surrounded by his family.

Bob was born to Robert Marion Bretz and Ada Belle Shipp in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

He is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Shirleen Bretz. Bob had four surviving sisters; Judy Ross (John), Betty Langston, Marilyn Wilson, and Kathy Bretz. He was also survived by his children Suzanne Surratt (Rusty), David Hicks (Michele), and preceded in death by his son Kerry Hicks. Bob will be dearly missed by his grandchildren; Brianne Sykes (Jared), Trevor Surratt (Ashleigh), Teryn Surratt, Payson Hicks, Lucas Lucero, and Rylan Hicks.

Bob enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1963 to serve in Vietnam. He entered as a 2nd Lieutenant after receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M. After an honorable discharge in 1965, he pursued his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M.

He taught at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro for many years. Bob was awarded Emeritus status by NM Tech for his contributions to the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Departments. He retired in 2011.

Not only an intellect, but Bob was also an amazing family man with a huge heart. He was a devoted husband and enjoyed every opportunity he had to travel and experience new places and things with his wife, Shirleen.

Bob was a very loving and supportive Father, who loved unconditionally. Better known as “GrandBob” to his grandchildren, he took advantage of every moment he had with them. Whether it was taking them fishing, building ponds, or planting a garden of vegetables, he cherished every minute.

GrandBob was an avid Warrior fan, making it a point not to miss a game, home or away. He was always in the stands; he was there for football, baseball, basketball and soccer, rain or shine. His presence will be missed. The family appreciates all the prayers and condolences they have received.