The fitness instructor affectionately known as “Yoga Bob” at the Green Family YMCA has died.
Robert Fritzsche died Thursday. He was 84.
The community had rallied around Fritzsche last year after he was diagnosed with leukemia.
Up until his illness, Fritzsche taught two yoga classes, a Silver Sneakers fitness class and a Pilates class at the YMCA.
His daughter, Julie Davis, of Green, told the Beacon that her father took up fitness in the era of Jack LaLanne to relieve stress from his job as an aerospace engineer for Goodyear.
He would often tell patrons that, “You need 10 hugs a day to be healthy.”
The first hint that something was amiss, Davis told a reporter, was when he didn’t feel well while instructing a class. Another daughter, Deb, who is a nurse, took him to have it checked out.
Fritzsche was a popular figure at the YMCA — so much so the organization proclaimed Oct. 1 “Yoga Bob Day” and sold T-shirts in his honor. Sales from the shirt were used to establish a scholarship.
He also taught at the Greenview Inn, an assisted-living center in Green.
A member of the Kiwanis, Fritzsche served on the Zoning Commission for the city he has called home for more than 50 years.
A graduate of The Citadel Military College of South Carolina, he served in the Navy. He had four daughters and 14 grandchildren.
A memorial service will be 2 p.m. Sunday at The Chapel, Green Campus, 1800 Raber Road.