Lasting Memories

Robert (Bob) Sikora
Sept. 14, 1949-Feb. 24, 2013
Palo Alto, California

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.

From Lisa Wright
Jan. 15, 2014

I think of Bob whenever I listen to Hot Tuna. He once told me that he was one of the voices hollering in the background of the live recording of Hesitation Blues. I didn't know him well, but he always had a smile. So sorry to hear of his passing.

From Frances Wright
Jan. 14, 2014

I had the pleasure of knowing Bob while he was a student at Stanford. He was a fine engineer, a talented musician, and a lovely, caring person. His passing, much too soon, is such a loss.

From Rafat Rob
Oct. 22, 2013

I find it very hard to stop visiting this site, it is hard to believe my best friend is gone, it has been many months since Bob's death, and I tried very hard to stop thinking about this but I can?t, it is very painful not see or talk to Bob, we miss you Buddy and we love you

From Joan Bourdon (oldest sister)
July 17, 2013

Bob was a wonderful older brother either laughing at something that happened or studying in his room. I was devastated when he moved out to go to school in California. I eventually moved there too and stayed for twenty years before moving to Reno, Nevada. It was great spending those years near my brother and Gloria! They are both very generous people! I will always miss you, Bob

From Tracy Trovato
May 12, 2013

Bob will forever hold a place in everyone's heart that knew him. While I wish there were more to comfort Gloria with her loss of Bob there is nothing that can take away her memories of the love of her life for the years they lived them together.

From Diane Dube
May 8, 2013

Sitting here in Tucson...Bob left this earth in February and here it is May and I keep thinking of Gloria's loss. Bob is OK, but Gloria suffering. In particular, I remember Gloria telling me about them ice skating at Banff and the trip to Italy. I was green with envy, not just of the trips but the loving relationship they had. "Go Rest High on That Mountain" (Vince Gill) comes to mind.

From Courtney Gawron
April 15, 2013

Uncle Bob. I know I didn't get to see you much since you were in California and I in New Jersey. But I never felt that you were far away. I loved that you and Aunt Gloria always made it a point to keep up with what was going on in our lives. That meant a lot to me. Every time you came to visit, we were so excited to hear all your stories of what your animals were up to and where you traveled. You were the best Uncle and Godfather a girl could ask for. There are too many great memories to write them all down, but if I had to pick one it would probably be the fact that you and Aunt Gloria would stand outside and watch us kids take turns jumping off a stump just to see us smile. You will truly be missed. I know that you will always be with us guiding us. I hope that you are enjoying heaven. I hope by the time we meet again you will be able to make me cream puffs. I love you forever.

From Susan Gawron
April 1, 2013

We didn't see Bob, but once, maybe twice a year. It was always with great anticipation when Bob & Gloria migrated back east. Though it might only be for a day,the whole family would try and clear their calendar for a family gathering. Keith & I got to know Bob in increments over the years enjoying good food, drink, and great conversation. Bob was a great guy and brother-in-law, our piece of the world is a sadder place without him in it.

From Jane and Arnis Silarajs
March 28, 2013

We have very warm memories of Bob. We met Gloria and Bob for dinner many times over the last few years. These occasions were always joyous.

From Sofia Poullada and Mehdi Safipour
March 23, 2013

We loved Bob. Warm, loving and always upbeat about all things in life. In every way possible, truly one of "the good guys". All our love and thoughts to you Gloria.

From Peter S.Mulshine
March 21, 2013

I always remember seeing Bob laughing & with a big smile on his face.We once played in a game of basketball in Palo Alto.I was very sorry to hear of his passing.

From Ted Syrett
March 16, 2013

I met Bob through Dave Slone, who'd been playing guitars and singing with Bob on Tuesday evenings for many years. In the late 1990s I joined them as their bass player and third singer. Playing and singing with Bob was a pleasure and privilege I will sorely miss. He knew hundreds of songs from memory, and his guitar never went out of tune! Also, he was very patient and tolerant of the idiosyncrasies of his fellow amateur musicians.

From Lauren Gawron
March 16, 2013

When I think of Uncle Bob, I will always think of a warm smile, a gentle disposition, and a loving soul. Our family is missing a piece that will forever be missed, but I am sure that Uncle Bob is watching over us all and continuing to have many adventures in heaven. Aunt Gloria, I hope you take comfort in knowing Bob is always with you, and so is your family. We love you Uncle Bob and until we all see you again, keep on smiling.

From Joan and Reg Suyat
March 15, 2013

We have known Bob and glo for many years and our interactions have mostly involved eating and drinking (imagine that)! The most recent adventure was in Paris. They invited us to meet them to celebrate glo's birthday and their 40th wedding anniversary. We took pictures and the smile on Bob's face is priceless! He was taken too soon and we will miss him very much.

From Tim and Rene Unger
March 15, 2013

Rene' and I are very saddened to know of Bob's sudden passing. His heart of gold, his gentle face, his eyes of kindness, his warm hand shake, his understanding soul. Truly one of a kind. We will miss him so. With our love, Tim and Rene'

From Tim and Rene Unger
March 15, 2013

Rene' and I are very saddened to know of Bob's sudden passing. His heart of gold, his gentle face, his eyes of kindness, his warm hand shake, his understanding soul. Truly one of a kind. We will miss him so. With our love, Tim and Rene'

From Rhondda Ashby
March 14, 2013

Dearest Glo - So sorry to hear this news about Bob. It was always great running into Bob at the firm whenever he stopped by. I think the last time I saw him was around the time of our Xmas party in December. He was such a nice guy. From one Springsteen fan to another, rest in peace, my friend.

From Rafat Rob
March 13, 2013

I can?t believe this! Bob is my best friend; he was my manager for years at KLA, so sad. He was the most professional engineer I have ever known; he had the best attitude, brains, and most of all a heart of gold. He treated everyone with full respect, never seen him angry, and he always made sure everyone worked for him felt as the most valuable member. Sadly, I am overseas and can?t pay my respect to him and his family in person, but he will always be in my heart and my thoughts, he is my friend, my mentor, and above of all he showed me how professionals should deals with difficulties at work without compromising their morals. He loved KLA-Tencor and he was loyal to his work and his engineers, I did spend a lot of time with him last year, he drove 150 miles to meet me in Folsom and we had a great time, we will miss him dearly

From Jayne Evans
March 12, 2013

I was so very sorry to hear of Bob's passing. He was truly a gentleman in every sense and he was the love of Gloria's life as well as she was his. I remember being so awed to hear all the great things he did for Gloria, their friends and community. Bob was so talented and giving. He was simply one of a kind and I am proud to say Bob was my friend.

From Larry and Lou Ann Breaks
March 11, 2013

Living here on the East Coast, we didn't get to see Bob very often. When we did he brought a keen sense of humor and it was always a fun time. We want to share this photo of Bob, which everyone knows is very rare since he was usually taking the picture. We will miss him very much.

From Ronni Dake
March 8, 2013

Bob and Gloria invited me over to their house many years ago when I was a single woman (maybe 35 years ago). The goal was to spend some time baking cookies. Later, I received as a gift from Bob and Gloria a cookie jar with cookie cutters inside. I still have all those cookie cutters.

From Peggy Smiley
March 8, 2013

Bob never met a stranger. He was kind, thoughtful, energetic and had a great sense of humor. I loved him best for the loving care he showered on my good friend Gloria - their relationship was pratically perfect in every way and together they demonstrated what being a couple should be like. Bob will be missed - he was one of a kind.

From Peter Hall
March 7, 2013

Bob and I, together with three others, were members of an exclusive group called Turtles. We were legends in our own minds. Bob and I sang beautiful songs together on the high school stairwells (because of the built-in echos) and often disputed the results of virtually anything our teaches tried to instill in us. He was a wonderful companion and a brilliant straight-man humorist. We enjoyed wonderful moments together as teenagers. I'll always remember the first listening of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album, together with Bob, Dennis, and Steve. It was an aesthetic experience that stayed with me, like Bob's friendship, for the rest of my life.