Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bob Batz health report

Bob Batz, at the BJ from 1966-1970, is “in failing health,” emails his son, also Bob Batz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editor-writer who began in 1986 with the Pittsburgh Press after a stint with the Dayton Daily News.  

Bob Batz, Sr.
“Nothing imminent,” son Bob wrote. But he wants memories about dad Bob’s days at the BJ.

Writes son Bob, who switched to the Post-Gazette after it bought the Press in 1993:

It saddens me to report that my father is in failing health. While nothing is imminent, it occurred to me that I should get going on starting his paid obituary at least. When he does die, he may well merit a news obituary in the Dayton Daily News where he worked as a columnist for decades. 

“I'm writing to you because of your BJ retirees blog. I wonder if there might be anyone still around who remembers my dad from his BJ years -- specifically anyone who could tell me what role if any he had in the paper's Kent State coverage?
"My dad always told me he was on campus working for Akron while also courting the Daily News, but it was never clear to me if he contributed to the coverage in Akron or not.

“I will keep you posted on my pop.

“Bob Batz Jr.

“Pittsburgh Post-Gazette”

As for his BJ years, Bob Sr. called it “such a neat place. (Wife) Sally and I had fond, fond memories of the BJ.” Sally passed away in 2009.

Bob wrote for daily newspapers for a half-century.

Pop Bob is a Flint, Michigan native who was at the Dayton Daily News (1970-2007) before he retired. He taught writing classes at the University of Dayton for more than two decades and was a volunteer firefighter and Public Information Officer with the Brookville Fire Department (just north of Dayton) for three decades.

Bob and Sally, Brookville FD administrative assistant who was among the first six female paramedics in Montgomery County, have four children – Bob, Jr., Laurie Batz Fryman, Jackie Batz Erbaugh and Chris Batz -- seven grandchildren and a 150-year-old house in Brookville.

In 1981, Bob was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his newspaper series on Alzheimer’s Disease, which he later turned into a play called “Long Goodbyes” that was performed by a local theater group.

Bill Hershey, a reporter at both the BJ and the Dayton Daily News, recalled:

“His dad, Sid Batz, and my dad, Clark Hershey, worked together at Fisher Body in Flint for many years and bowled together.

“I think bob graduated from same high school as me -- Flint Central -- now closed.”

Send your memories of Bob Batz the pop to Bob Batz the son, who lives in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mount Lebanon, at:

Bob Batz

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

358 North Shore Dr., Suite 300

Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Or phone Bob’s son at 412-263-1930

Or email him at

I also would appreciate copies of any memories you have of columnist Bob Batz at Ol’ Blue Walls. I will use them in the BJ Alums blog.

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