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Robert A. "Bob" Gretel

February 24, 1926 - March 7, 2020

Robert A. Gretel, of Henderson County, NC passed into grace on Saturday morning, March 7, 2020 at his home in Hendersonville, NC. He was Ninety-Four years old.

Mr. Gretel was born in Detroit, Michigan on February 24th, 1926 to the late Hedwig and Adolph Gretel. As a child, Mr. Gretel grew up in the embrace of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Detroit where he attended primary school. It was here that he would begin to build his personal philosophy and embrace the abiding faith that would sustain him throughout his long and full life.

Mr. Gretel represented his high school class as its Student Council President in 1943 and by playing in the school’s Jazz band. He learned hard work and perseverance building houses with his father and he adopted a compassionate heart from his faith, his mother, and his community.

After high school in September of 1943, Mr. Gretel joined the United States Army Air Corps, and proudly served his country training as a ‘Bomb-sight Navigator’ on aircraft bound for the Pacific-Theater.

At war’s end Mr. Gretel was honorably discharged and reentered civilian life in Detroit. In 1947 he married his high school sweetheart, the former Audrey Jean Musket who preceded him in death in August of 2009. In that same year, Mr. Gretel began his studies in Business and Accounting principles at Wayne State University. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in 1949 and applied that knowledge as a junior accountant at the Michigan Tractor and Machinery Company in Detroit. Mr. Gretel rose steadily in the company and in 1970 became a successful Territory Manager with an impressive portfolio of industrial and commercial customers. He and Audrey retired to San Diego, California in 1982 after 33 years of faithful service to the company he came to view as an extended family.

Mr. Gretel leaves daughter Gayle Gretel Hutton of Waynesville, NC, Janis E. Haine of Traverse City, MI, and Eric R. Gretel of Grand Rapids, MI behind to cherish his memory. Mr. Gretel’s eldest son, Mark A. Gretel preceded him in death in 2017. He will be remembered also by three grandchildren: Meghan Hutton of Charlotte, NC, Adam Gretel of Detroit, MI, Kyle Gretel of West Palm Beach, FL, and one great-grandson, Jack Kettering of Charlotte, NC.

A service to celebrate the life of Mr. Gretel will be held at 11:00 Friday morning, March 13, 2020 at the Grace Lutheran Church, 1245 6th Avenue West, Hendersonville, NC with Pastor Ken Langsdorf officiating.

Memorial contributions may be offered on behalf of Mr. Gretel to Grace Lutheran Church, 1245 6th Avenue West, Hendersonville 28739.

Mr. Gretel, ‘Bob’ to almost everyone, loved the gift of life. He lived every moment of the sorrows, pains and joys that life offered him. He sought and gave friendship. He strived to live an honest life. He loved. He lost. He gained notoriety for his achievements but continued to seek new ones. He lived the life of an honorable man. May God grant him eternal rest.

Arrangements are in the care of Shuler Funeral Home of Hendersonville, NC. Condolences may be shared online at

Service Information

Service Information

Date: Friday, March 13, 2020

Time: 11:00 am


Grace Lutheran Church

1245 6th Avenue West
Hendersonville, NC

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