Bob Lewitz (right) passed away after a year-long battle with cancer.
Bob Lewitz (right) passed away after a year-long battle with cancer.

‘BBQ Bob’ Lewitz remembered for tireless community efforts

A "GENTLE giant" who played an integral role in building up a vital local institution will be sorely missed by family, friends and the wider community.

Bob Lewitz, 71, passed away last week after a year-long battle with cancer.

He was farewelled by family at a private cremation service.

The popular figure at the Ipswich Men's Shed in Bundamba will be honoured by the 120 members of the group during a memorial event later this month.

Known as 'BBQ Bob', the grandfather was most at home with a pair of tongs in his hand to raise funds for the community group.

Since he joined the shed in 2013, he raised about $20,000 a year through cooking sausages outside Bunnings stores and at other community events.

He was made a life member of the group 18 months ago.

Shed life member and former president Terry Carter said members of the shed were taking the loss hard.

"He will be badly missed," he said.

"We'll sorely miss him.

"He joined as a quiet fellow but we soon found out he was far from that.

"He took on the job doing the barbecues at Bunnings as the co-ordinator. He made us all work hard.

"He made lots of money for the shed. He will be remembered for all the work he did."

Mr Lewitz took a step back from his work with the shed about a year ago after falling ill.

It has left big shoes to fill.

"It's a bit of a struggle (without him)," Mr Carter said.

"He had the system down pat … you wouldn't want to make a mistake at the barbecue or not have enough prepared.

"In his early days he was a ballroom dancer. You wouldn't have thought so looking at him. He was a gentle giant.

"He was in the transport business for many years. He used to cart houses around Australia for all the top riders and jockeys."

A sausage sizzle will be held in memorial of Mr Lewitz on January 23 at 11am at the Ipswich Men's Shed located at 3A Mining St, Bundamba.

"We want to farewell a much loved community figure," Mr Carter said.