Robert Steven (Bobby) Horowitz, 71, an Atlanta native and resident of Nevada who lived part-time in California, died in a riptide accident in Sarasota, Fla., June 9, 2020.
An internationally recognized leader in the food industry, he revolutionized new food products and introduced novel ways to produce and market them. As a committed philanthropist he also practiced the Golden Rule in his business management and personal lives.
He graduated in 1970 from University of Georgia School of Business and earned a law degree from Emory University in 1973. He practiced law briefly in Decatur, then joined his father, Maurice Horowitz, at M.K. Horowitz Co., a pioneering frozen food brokerage founded in 1948. He helped build the company into a regional powerhouse prior to its sale in the mid-1980s.
Subsequently he established the Atlanta-based East Coast Sales Co., which his father ran when Bobby left after several years to join Lamb Weston, a division of ConAgra Foods. As that company’s vice president of international sales, he and his wife Becky lived for two years in Brussels, Belgium, where he worked to open global markets and develop potato processing plants and farms in Eastern and Western Europe.
On returning to the U.S., he was named president of Lamb Weston, leading that company to become the then most profitable division of ConAgra before he retired. Finding retirement didn’t suit him, he accepted an offer to become CEO of CTI Foods, a national food service processing company, which he grew for its investors.
Since leaving CTI Foods several years ago, he provided consulting services to other national food industry corporations and investors.
Throughout his life Bobby was focused on helping others and quietly providing funding wherever it was needed. One of his great pleasures was working with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, bringing musical instruments to impoverished students at inner city schools who then became proficient in band and orchestra.
He and Becky faithfully attended many school concerts. He also served on the boards of the national nonprofit Feeding America in San Diego, and Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas.
He was dedicated to the African Wildlife Foundation to help save rhinos, elephants and other wildlife in Africa. He was very involved and a member of several synagogues in multiple states, funding student trips to Israel and to national Jewish advocacy meetings. Believing the best giving was anonymous, he generously took care of many people and too many other causes to be mentioned here. He also was deeply devoted to his friends and family, encouraging the next generations, especially his great-nieces and nephew to follow their dreams.
He leaves his beloved wife Becky Dreistadt Horowitz; sister Jane Horowitz Bick of Atlanta; niece Natalie (Bick) Webb and her husband Scott of Sharpsburg, Ga.; great-nieces Caroline and Jenna Webb; nephew Patrick Dreistadt of Orlando, Fla.; and his irrepressible cat Bernard.
Due to the COVID virus, funeral services were held privately for the family June 10 with livestreaming on Zoom. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, the African Wildlife Foundation, Feeding America, or a charity of your choice. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.