Robert (Bob) Sikora
Sept. 14, 1949-Feb. 24, 2013
Palo Alto, California
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Robert (Bob) Sikora, engineer, community volunteer and beloved husband of Gloria, died unexpectedly at his home in Palo Alto on Sunday February 24th. He was 63.
Bob and Gloria celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last November by returning once again to Paris, a favorite destination. The foundation of their relationship, they both said, was mutual appreciation for one other’s unique contributions to their marriage. Bob was even-tempered, hard-working and reliable, yet light-hearted. His sense of humor was spontaneous and whimsical, as when he would teach the family cats, Eva and Cleo, to balance on his shoulders or dance with him in the living room.
Bob was born in Decatur, Illinois. At the age of eleven his family moved to the New Jersey shore area. Bob was a natural athlete and multi-event track star in high school, setting a school record for victories in a single season. His athleticism was characterized by a combination of grace and stamina. Not long after moving to California in 1969 to attend college, Bob was vacationing in Big Sur when he saw a very young girl fall into the Big Sur River. He quickly jumped fully clothed into the deep, cold and swift current and brought the child to safety.
A graduate of Santa Clara University and Stanford, Bob worked for decades as an engineer, consultant and manager at a number of prominent high tech companies in Silicon Valley, most recently at KLA-Tencor. Bob was an engaged and caring neighbor, who described himself in his typically self-deprecating way as “compulsively useful.” In 2010 he was recognized by Palo Alto with the city’s Achievement Award for his contributions to CERT, the neighborhood disaster preparedness program. He was a key participant in several community improvement efforts along the El Camino corridor of his Barron Park neighborhood.
To the delight and entertainment of his friends, Bob brought the same qualities to his many interests. He learned to play a variety of musical instruments but preferred the guitar, his favored instrument for nearly 50 years. In addition to music, cooking for family and friends, gardening, attending museum exhibitions and local theater, hiking in Yosemite, birding, and working around his home were all passions. An ardent Stanford sports fan, Bob’s tailgates, with his legendary red chili and green chili, were a highlight of the football season for his friends.
He is survived by three brothers and three sisters, and by his wife Gloria, the love of his life.
Tags: public service