LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Robert “Bob” Leslie Hergert laid down his wrench for the final time on the evening of Nov. 14, 2023, at the age of 78.
Bob was not one to complain, so his battle with cancer was short, and he passed peacefully at his home in Kelseyville, surrounded by love and reminders of the wonderful life he lived.
Robert was born on Oct. 2, 1945, in Lakeport, California, to Elise McIntire Hergert and Raymond “Bob” Hergert. He was the oldest of five children and readily took on the role of protector over his siblings as the big brother.
Although Robert got his start in Kelseyville, he grew up in various parts of the country due to his father’s position as a Nuclear Submarine Chief Torpedoman in the US Navy, to include Hawaii, Virginia, and Key West, Florida.
Bob’s heart was in Lake County though, and he returned to Kelseyville as soon as he was able. There he met his wife Carolyn Holdenried Gard, and they were married in Reno, Nevada on June 6, 1968. Carolyn had two children, Bruce and Janet, whom Bob considered his own children and raised them as his own. Bob and Carolyn welcomed one daughter together, Nicole, “Nikki,” on July 20, 1969.
Bob and Carolyn celebrated over 46 years of marriage before Carolyn passed away from cancer on Jan. 24, 2015.
Most people are lucky to even find one partner to love in life, but Bob was lucky enough to find two. Bob met his second wife, Connie Patison Ludwig, in Fort Bragg and they were married in Kelseyville on April 9, 2016. Connie had one daughter, Lisa, whom Bob also considered his own.
Throughout his life, Bob had several professions, starting with odd jobs in his younger years moving onto grape and pear farming, however he settled quite happily on automotive repair and machine work. Bob had always had a unique understanding of engines and made that his life’s work, opening his own automotive repair shop next to his home with his wife Carolyn. Always a man who found joy in working with his hands, Bob refused to retire and continued working at Bob’s Auto up until the end.
Bob found other ways to work with his hands, and always had to have something to work on. He started as a child building soapbox cars with his little sister Kathleen, restoring a small sailboat as a youngster, leading up to restoring classic cars throughout the rest of his life. Bob’s love for cars manifested in various ways, one of which was drag racing, which he shared his love of with his son.
Bob also enjoyed working in his wood shop; if he wasn’t working on a car he was building furniture out of wine barrels and loved giving his finished projects to his friends and family.
He also loved to travel, and in his later years he could be found driving cross-country in his 1937 Lincoln Zephyr with his wife Connie, their dog, and his aluminum teardrop trailer in tow.
Bob showed his love of Kelseyville and its community in a multitude of ways. He was one of the founding members of the Kelseyville Lions Club and loved to participate in all of their community events, including the Kelseyville Pear Festival, crab feeds, luaus, and various fundraisers over the years.
He was a hard worker and enjoyed putting his feet up at the end of the day while sharing a drink with a friend.
Bob was a man of few words, but he left a great impression on all who knew him. This impact was evident everywhere he went, as you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in Kelseyville who had never met Bob Hergert.
Bob is survived by his wife, Connie Hergert; his children, Bruce Gard and his partner Pam, Janet Harmon Bosse and her husband Brenndon, Nikki Jones-Callaway and her husband Stephen Klein, and Lisa Ludwig; and by his siblings, Kathleen Ira, Dennis Hergert and his wife Kathy, and Cheryl Moll.
Bob is also held in the hearts of his grandchildren Robbie, Courtney, Whitney, JP, Brian, Jessicca, Carrie, Garrett, Mary and Spencer, as well as multiple great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Bob is predeceased by his parents, Raymond and Elise, his brother Donald Hergert, his wife Carolyn Hergert, and his brother-in-law Michael Ira.
A graveside service will be held Saturday, Nov. 25, at 10:30 a.m., at the Kelseyville Cemetery, where he is to be laid to rest with his family who were ready to welcome him into Heaven.
The public is welcome to join the family at a celebration of life reception on Saturday, Nov. 25, at noon at the Lady Luck Garage located at 4010 Main St. in Kelseyville.
Bob wasn’t much for flowers, so we ask that you buy a drink for a friend in Bob’s memory and raise it in honor of a wonderful gentleman!💜🙏🏼💜
Friends and family of Bob Hergert are welcome to gather at Lady luck Garage at noon to celebrate a Lake County legend where Bob’s classic cars will be displayed.
Lunch will be served and we encourage everyone to bring their best Bob Hergert stories to share💜.