Robert Joseph Pekar Sr., 82, of Bonita Springs, Florida, formerly of Calverton, died Jan. 14, 2020 at JoAnne’s House at Hope Hospice in Bonita Springs, Florida.

He was born Sept. 30, 1937 in Granville, New York, the son of Joseph and Anna (Gelesak) Pekar.

He graduated in 1955 from Granville High School, where he was a standout football player for the Granville Horde. He was recruited by Syracuse University, but chose instead to enlist in the U.S. Navy, in which he served from 1955 to 1963. He was a submarine missile technician for the Navy and served on one of the first nuclear submarines, the USS Edison, based in Groton, Connecticut.

He married Patricia Skelly of Granville, New York on Oct. 9, 1963. They moved to Riverhead in 1963 and later bought a home in Calverton where they raised a family of four children. The lived there for 50 years.

Pekar worked as an electrical engineer and designer for the Grumman Coporation/Northrop-Grumman from 1963 to 1996, when the company closed its Calverton plant. He then retired. He also worked for Hodun Farms both before and after his retirement.

He was elected to the Riverhead Board of Education from 1976 to 1979 and served as vice president of the board during that time.

He and his wife moved to Bonita Springs, Florida in 2017.

An avid reader and historian, he also enjoyed sailing, painting, carving decoys, and taking long adventurous walks with his loyal Digger.

Robert was devoted husband and a fantastic father and proud grandfather and great-grandfather, his family said. 

In addition to his wife of 56 years, he is survived by his children: Robert Pekar Jr. of Mooresville, North Carolina, Jeannette Pekar of Hampton Bays, Andrea Pekar of West Babylon and Andrew Pekar of Lake Grove; he is also survived by 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; by siblings, Joseph Pekar of Middle Granville, New York, Frank Pekar of Granville, New York and Mary Firebaugh of West Sacramento, California. He was predeceased by his sister, Joan Kranak of Michigan.

Interment will be at Calverton National Cemetery at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Kent Animal Shelter 2259 River Road, Calverton, NY 11933, or Joanne’s House at Hope Hospice 27100 Imperial Parkway, Bonita Springs, FL 34135.

Online condolences may be offered here .
Arrangements are being handled by Shikany’s Bonita Funeral Home.

Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.