Robert "Bob" Lauer of Brighton, Colo., was born July 29, 1940, to Florence and Martin Lauer in a home just five doors north of his lifelong home on South 9th Street. He passed away on January 9, 2022.
He was the middle of three children. His elder sister, Joann Watts preceded him in death in 2005; his younger brother, Tommy, passed in 1991.
Bob was a proud Brighton Bulldog. He attended Brighton Schools and his class was the first class of sophomores in the “new” high school building. He enthusiastically told stories of those days, most memorably one of young boys squeezing bullets in a vice grip, another of setting fire to the town’s discarded Christmas tree pile, and one of filling a teacher’s basement with live geese.
Always a hard worker, Bob was a jack of all trades who shined shoes, delivered a paper route, and worked at Oakner’s Grocery. He saved enough to buy the living room furniture in their family home, working and hustling enough that his income rivaled what his dad earned at Kuner’s.
In the spring of 1959, he and his first and best buddy Emmett Formby left for the Army. It was there he learned life lessons, like not returning to the barracks drunk. Doing so, he found out, resulted in cleaning the grease trap in the blazing sun with a hang over. He also learned how to use an automatic potato peeler, and just how long to leave the potatoes in the peeler before they became potato pebbles. It was in the service he saw Ray Charles perform, back before he was famous.
Bob returned to Brighton and his grocery roots where he became as dedicated an employee as Safeway ever saw. Outside of work, he pursued his love for drag racing. He sped to a national title and even announced races. In 1969, meeting a blue-eyed blonde named Lori Schreibvogel stopped him in his tracks. He left a dance at the Big A without her contact information, but being resourceful, he tracked down her Aunt Betty. Just a year later, the couple wed in Las Vegas on April 11, 1970. Not long after, Lori told him to choose between her and driving drag cars. He announced races from then on.
The couple received their first gift from God on November 14, 1970, a blue-eyed girl they named Wendy. Daughter Robin followed two years later on October 29, 1972. Bob loved to joke that he was surrounded by so many women, that even the family dog was a girl.
Bob turned down offers to announce drag races professionally, worried that such a job couldn’t support a family, but that wasn’t the only opportunity he left on the table, consistently putting his family above all else. He continued at Safeway where he was a store manager and “cleaner,” sent to stores that were in trouble and needed put in order. He was with Safeway for over 20 years followed by his own store, the Village Market. A family affair from the start, he then moved into food brokerage. Lori traveled with him to different stores and he loved the work. He worked later as a construction supervisor for his sons in law. When that work ended, his Lauer Krauts career began. Bob drove the food truck and was the all around, go-to guy for the restaurant.
He and Lori’s first grandson, Deiter, was born in 2000, followed ten years later by Max. He relished having two grandsons after a lifetime surrounded by women. He was gifted another grandson, Roman, when Robin and David we’d in 1999. Always proud of his family, there’s little doubt that he’s in Heaven bragging about his boys.
Known also as Paxton, Lieutenant, Riley, Lauer, Lover, Daddy, and Papa, Bob was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings. He is survived by his wife Lori; daughters Wendy (Roberto Leyva) Meija and Robin (David) Trujillo; grandsons Roman Lopez, Deiter Leyva, and Max Trujillo. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association.
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