Robert Bizal

Obituary of Robert Bernard Bizal

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Robert Bernard Bizal died February 5, 2024 at his home in Chapel Hill, NC.

Born on March 31, 1927, Bob was the son of John Bizal and Margaret Gergic, immigrants from Slovenia in Austria-Hungary. He was the second youngest of 13 children. Bob’s parents and all his siblings predeceased him.

A native of Emporia, Kansas, he graduated from Emporia High School in 1945 as president of his class. Bob served in the Navy during World War II in the Pacific Theatre where he was a storekeeper (disbursing).

Upon discharge from the Navy, Bob joined his family in Oklahoma City and graduated, cum laude, from Oklahoma City University with a B.A. degree in journalism, thanks to the GI Bill. At Oklahoma City University, he served as Editor of “The Campus” newspaper and as an officer in various clubs including the Press Club, the French Club, and the Newman Club. He also did post-graduate work in political science under a Fulbright Scholarship grant at the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Lyon, France. His time as a Fulbright Scholar instilled a great interest in the world. Throughout his life, Bob traveled extensively in North and South America, Europe, North Africa, and Asia. He was married to Mildred Semtner, formerly of Oklahoma City, who preceded him in death. They had three children, Jennie Bob “J.B.” Culpepper of Chapel Hill, Melanie Bizal of Chapel Hill, and Raymond Bizal (Cindy) of Long Beach, California. He has three grandchildren, Alex Culpepper (Sara) of Durham, NC, Adam Culpepper (Lauren) of Nashville, NC, and Jennie Bob Bizal-Clark of Chapel Hill.  Bob also has two great-granddaughters: Charlotte Marie and Emma Kathleen Culpepper.

Early in his career, Bob was a reporter for United Press International, The Tulsa Daily World, and The Daily Oklahoman. He began his oil and gas industry career with the Independent Petroleum Association of America in Tulsa and Washington D.C., worked a year with the American Petroleum Institute, and was with The Oil and Gas Journal for 8 years as director of editorial research. In his later years, he identified most with this journalism background. He joined Amoco (now BP) in 1964 as public relations representative for exploration and production, serving in that capacity in Tulsa and Houston for 10 years. They moved to the nation’s capital in 1974 where Bob was a Washington representative in Amoco’s governmental relations department. In 1978, he opened an area government and public affairs office in Denver. The office served 18 states. He retired from Amoco in 1986. Following retirement from Amoco, Bob served as a Loaned Executive and volunteer for the Oil and Gas Division, the Mining and other Divisions at Mile High United Way from 1987 to 1996. In this capacity, his accounts raised $6 million for human services. He was also active as a volunteer meal deliverer and committee member at Denver’s Project Angel Heart for 14 years, having personally delivered an estimated 7,000 hot lunches.

A life-long member of the Fulbright Association, Bob also served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chapter and the North Carolina Chapter of the Fulbright Association. He was an active member of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Humanists of Colorado. At various stages of his life, he was active in the National Council as well as the World Council of Churches, Great Books of the Western World, the United Nations organization and the Public Relations Society of America. Bob also held offices with various trade and professional organizations in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Washington, D.C., New Mexico, and Colorado.


After cremation, the family plans a private service to bury his ashes next to Mildred at the Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to either the Fulbright Association at or  Project Angel Heart at

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