Lasting Memories

Robert Kuhar
Jan. 10, 1936-Nov. 13, 2018
Palo Alto, California

Submitted by Lena Kuhar

Robert (Bob) M. Kuhar passed away peacefully in his sleep at his Palo Alto home on Nov. 13, 2018. An engineer who made a late-in-life career change to psychotherapist, he will be remembered by his family, friends and colleagues for his intelligence, kindness, humor and ability to draw out humanity in a rapidly changing world. Bob was born in Yonkers, New York on Jan. 10, 1936, the only child of Elizabeth Hovanec and Michael Kuhar, both Slovaks who immigrated to the U.S. shortly after World War I. Following his graduation from New York University with a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering, Bob was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and worked at Rockwell International for a year before being called to active duty. His experience on a missile crew during the Cuban missile crisis changed his perspective forever, and he transitioned away from the military to work on civilian space projects. He became part of the Spacecraft team for the Apollo program, where he worked on the guidance, navigation and flight control systems of the first Space Shuttle. His next stop was Silicon Valley, when he joined Syntex Analytical Instruments to manage hardware development of one of the first CT scanners. Thus began an engineering management career in medical and scientific instruments. At Lena Chow Advertising, his wife's company focused on biotechnology and healthcare, he guided the deployment of information technology as his role transitioned from the technology side of product development to the role of manager and mentor. Bob subsequently changed career tracks and enrolled at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, now Sofia University in Palo Alto, California. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2005, at age 69. His career as youth counselor and executive coach was cut short by a diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer's disease seven years later. Bob is survived by his wife of 31 years, Lena; his children Michael, Elizabeth Lee, Christopher and Kimberlee; stepdaughter Andrea Berry; grandchildren Tiffani Bartolac, Kimberley Klein, Robert Lee, Tessa, Nicole, Kirsten and Kyle; step-grandchildren Natalie Berry and Peter Berry; and great grandchildren Brianna Bartolac and Addison Bartolac. He was predeceased by his son David. Bob will always be remembered as a loving husband, father, friend, colleague, mentor and for his ability to inspire people around him to be a little bit better than they thought they could be.