Robert (Bob) Lorenz, Sr. died peacefully August 13, 2021, in Longview, Texas. His wife of 56 years, Elisabeth (Betty) Graham Lorenz, was with him by his side. He was born in Astoria, Queens, New York, on November 2, 1941, to Anthony and Catherine (Reidmuller) Lorenz. He was a loving father to son, Bob, Jr. and wife, Lori Lorenz of Longview, Texas; daughter, Chrissy and husband, Mark Varholak of Orange, Connecticut; and grandfather to his five grandchildren, Olivia and Sam Lorenz of Longview, Texas; and Colton, Anna and Ellery Varholak of Orange, Connecticut.
Bob enjoyed spending time with his extended family and summers at Squanz Pond in Connecticut. He and his family enjoyed meeting friends at car shows and cruise nights, taking family vacations to Florida and Connecticut, and spending time together. Bob was a quiet man of few words, but his family and friends always knew how much he loved them. He had a big heart and a quick wit, and he will be so deeply missed.
As a child, Bob attended Holy Spirit School in The Bronx, New York. His family later moved to Valley Stream, Long Island where he graduated from Valley Stream South High School in 1959. In his teens, he was a member of the Rambling Rods, a car club where he would develop life-long friendships and continue to grow his love of cars. Bob and Betty met through mutual friends and were married on December 19, 1964.
As an avid lover of cars, he turned his passionate hobby into his family business. With experience in various body shops and operating his own towing service in New York, he created R&R Restoration after the birth of his daughter in 1972. Having been lifelong residents of New York, in 1978, Bob and Betty wanted to find a better life for their family. With Bobby (age 9), two mutts, and a cat, they packed all of their belongings in a 14’ box truck with a bad oil leak and pulled a 1955 Ford Crown Victoria behind. Betty and Chrissy (age 5) followed in a 1974 Plymouth Duster. They moved to Texas knowing only one person, Mr. Pat Ferchill, whom Bob had only met once in the two years prior. New friends, Mr. John Black, Mr. Kenny Wilkes and Mr. Ferchill, helped the family find a home, and they began their new lives in Longview. The first R& R shop in Texas was located on Delia Drive and was later moved to the North Fuller Road location. Bob shared his love of cars with his son and would mentor and work side by side with him until his semi-retirement in 2005 when Bob, Jr. took over the business. His love for cars was also passed along to his daughter as he helped Chrissy to restore the first car she drove as a teen.
Through his love of cars and restoration, Bob made friends across the country, many through the Buick GS Club of America. He also made great friends through customers and local businesses with whom he traded. He and Bob Jr. have a longstanding relationship with LeTourneau University Automotive Society where they formed many lasting friendships over the years. Along with his love of cars, Bob had a love of animals, especially dogs. He never bought or adopted a pet. Strays just seemed to find him, and he never turned one away. He always said if he won the lottery, he would want to make an animal sanctuary so he could save even more animals.
An outdoor visitation will be held at Welch Funeral Home in Longview, Texas, Friday, August 20th, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The family requests that all participants adhere to strict Covid precautions. Because Bob was a lifelong car enthusiast, friends are encouraged to bring their “cool rides,” reminisce and visit from a safe distance.
Our family extends special gratitude for the friendship and medical attention given to Bob in the last years of his life. Thank you, Dr. Jay Chastain, Dr. Shayne Skarda, Dr. Rama Koya, Dr. Uma
Pulipaka and Dr. Rick Earnest for your loving care.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you kindly donate to Texas Oncology Foundation, First Presbyterian Church of Longview or Animal Protection League of Longview.
To send flowers to Robert's family, please visit our floral store.