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Robert Lee “Rob” Botham, age 46, passed away with his family by his side at his home in South Bend on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. Rob was born April 8, 1977, in Everett, Washington. Following his graduation from Concrete High School in Washington, Rob heard the call of his country and enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served honorably from 1995-1999. On November 18, 2000, Rob married Abigail Coe at St. Monica Catholic Church in Mishawaka.
Surviving is his wife of almost 23 years, Abby Botham and their children Zane Botham, Isabel Botham and Emily Botham, all of South Bend. Surviving as well are his parents Zane and Sheba Botham of Chewelah, Washington, his sister Jennifer (Matt) Shelley of Colville, Washington, his mother-in-law, Dottie Wisler-Dietrich of Granger, his sister-in-law Debbie (Mike) Matarazzo of Las Vegas, Nevada, his brother-in-law Rob (Alison) Coe of Corydon, Indiana and his best friend, Ryan Roush of Osceola. He was preceded in death by his father-in-law James “Doc” Dietrich.
Visitation will be held from 3-5 pm Sunday, November 19, 2023, at Wells and Cruz Family Funeral Home (formerly Goethals and Wells) with a rosary service beginning at 5pm. There will also be 1 hour of visitation prior to the 11:00am Mass of Christian Burial at St. Monica Catholic Church in Mishawaka on Monday, November 20, 2023, with interment and military honors to follow in Olive Cemetery, Elkhart.
Following his time on active duty, Rob used his GI Bill to earn his degree in secondary education from Indiana University. He used his degree to teach English in South Bend for two years while continuing to serve in the US Air Force Reserves and taking a civilian position in sheet metal & corrosion working KC-135 tankers before finding his true calling as machinist at Grissom Air Force Base and later as a training coordinator for the US Air Force in Peru, Indiana. While enlisted in the reserves, Rob served his fellow veterans as a member of the Air Force Honor Guard.
Rob developed a passion for capturing moments through the lens of antique cameras, capturing timeless, vintage style photographs, reflecting not only his artistic eye but also his deep appreciation for the beauty of the past. His calligraphy and painting skills were unparalleled, with his recent watercolor paintings showing the depths of his talent.
Beyond the canvas and the lens, Rob found joy in the simple pleasures of life. Whether riding his bicycle all over town, building model planes and trains, or building kites that danced in the skies, Rob enjoyed the simple things in life. His hobbies were expressions of his curiosity and zest for life.
Rob's humor brightened the lives of all who knew him. His repertoire of "Dad Jokes" could bring laughter to even the gloomiest of days. Rob never met a stranger that his warm smile and welcoming demeanor couldn't instantly turn acquaintances into friends. He had a rare gift of making everyone feel cherished and valued.
A man of deep faith, Rob was a longtime member of St. Monica Catholic Church, where he served for several years as a eucharistic minister. His commitment to spirituality extended to his membership in the Knights of Columbus, Mishawaka, where he exemplified the principles of charity, unity, and fraternity. His love knew no bounds. He cared for others with a selflessness that touched the lives of many.
To light a virtual candle, share a story of Rob’s life, or leave a message of comfort for his family, please follow the links provided on the tribute wall tab above.