In Memory

Bob Pelkey (Papermaker) - Class of 1998 VIEW PROFILE

Bob Pelkey

June 29, 1930 - July 15, 2014

STERLING, Mass. – Robert “Papa” Pelkey, 84, formerly of Missoula, died peacefully on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at 9:40 a.m. at his home surrounded by his family following a brief battle with esophageal cancer.

Robert was born in Missoula, son of the late Albert Wallace Pelkey and Myrtle Marie (Morkert) Pelkey and was raised in western Montana.

Robert graduated from Missoula Hellgate High School in 1948 and then enlisted in the United States Army, (May 2, 1950-May 1, 1953) where he served in the Korean War. While on tour he was shot in combat and received the Purple Heart. He returned to Montana and married his first wife, Barbara Southern in 1956; they had seven children. Robert excelled at many different callings in his youth including culinary school, carpentry work, playing as a drummer in a band and then finding a career working for Stone Container in Missoula for 33 years (only missing three days during his entire career) before retiring in 1998. Robert married his current wife, Kathy (Richardson) Pelkey, on August  8, 1989, and has been happily married for nearly 25 years.

For the last 13 years Robert and Kathy have lived with their daughter Lisa Brown and her husband Sean Brown.  The last six years they have lived in Sterling, Massachusetts.  When their granddaughter Ava came along 15 years ago, Robert was affectionately referred to as “Papa” and the name stuck ever since.  Wherever he went people referred to him as Papa, which delighted him.

Robert is survived by his children of his first marriage, Neil Pelkey, wife Uma and grandson Taran; Abra Slater, husband Mark, grandchildren Rome and Chevy; Anneke Leigh-Proudfoot, husband Colin Proudfoot and granddaughter Tahnee; Louis Pelkey, Larken Pelkey, granddaughter Angela and great-grandson Izaiah; Merritt Pelkey and wife Nikki.  He and Barbara also had a son, Rome Pelkey, who died six weeks after birth.

In addition he is survived by his wife, Kathy Pelkey; daughters, Lisa Brown, her husband Sean, grandchildren, Ava and Bryce; Jeanette Haggan and her husband Jim, grandchildren, Eric Kinnie, Todd Thomas and Chad Thomas; and four great-grandchildren.

Papa’s passion after retiring included fixing anything around the house and he was a master with WD-40 and a wrench.  He also loved to cook and his specialty dish was roasted salmon.  He enjoyed his grandchildren, cartoons and spending time with his family.  He had an infectious love of dogs and birds and appreciated nature as a whole.  He was famous for one-liners and always made people smile.  He loved his home state of Montana and was laid to rest after a small private memorial on August 29, 2014 at Sunset Memorial in Missoula.

In lieu of flowers or donations, please pass along a smile to a friend or a stranger.  Papa never met a stranger and would help anyone in need.  He would always say, “Pass a good deed forward.”

Rest in Peace dear Friend.

Click here to see Bob's last Profile entry.