The Obit For Robert Gettler

Former Teacher, Gettler, Dies

The Las Vegas Sun, Thursday, 10/2/2008
By Diana Cox

In 1954, Robert W. Gettler left his native Minnesota to be a teacher at Boulder City High School. Teaching U.S. government and history until 1963, he made his influence felt.

"He was somebody that absolutely made a mark on his students. You learned in his class," former student Tim Tilman said.

Gettler, 82, died Sept. 18 following a brief illness.

He was born Dec. 18, 1925, in Sherburn, Minn., to Raymond and Ella Gettler. He enlisted in the Navy during World War II. During the war, he married his first wife, Harriett Wenberg, also of Sherburn.

Following the war, he earned a bachelor's degree from Mankato State Teachers College, where he was honored as "Athlete of the Year."

He played for a semi-professional baseball team in the summers of 1947 through 1954, and in 1950, he began his teaching and coaching career in Mountain Lake, Minn.

In October 1955, he contracted polio and was
wheelchair-bound for the remainder of his life.
Despite the disability, he continued to coach junior high basketball and varsity track at Boulder City High School.

He challenged his students in class, basing discussions on the events of the day, his family said.

"We had to know Dow Jones average every day in class," Tilman said. "And he constantly took the opposite side of what we said to get a discussion going."

After leaving Boulder City High, Gettler continued to teach in Las Vegas until he retired in 1991.

After retiring, he was frequently seen wheeling around Boulder City getting exercise during what he called his "runs."

In 1995, he married his second wife, Pat Lenning of Boulder City.

In 2007, he was inducted in the Boulder City High School Hall of Fame.

Gettler is survived by his wife, Pat of Boulder City; sons Steve and Doug of Las Vegas; stepdaughters Kristen Sadano and Therese Davis; stepsons Brian Lenning, Mark Lenning and John Lenning; seven step-grandchildren; sister, Charlotte Manthe and husband, Russell, of Montana; and brother Dennis and wife, Jennifer, of Minnesota.

A Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Oct. 4 at St. Andrew's Catholic Church, 1399 San Felipe Drive, Boulder City. It will be followed by a luncheon at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Nathan Adelson Hospice, 4141 Swenson St., Las Vegas, 733-0320, www.nah.org.

Arrangements were handled by La Paloma Funeral Services.