HAMILTON - Robert F. Palach, 90, died Thursday, June 12, 2008, at 2:30 a.m. while in Hospice care at the Bitterroot Valley Living Center in Stevensville. He died of a brain tumor.
Bob, as his friends knew him, was born on March 16, 1918, in Lampson, Wis.
The family migrated to Moose Lake, Minn. He graduated from Moose Lake High School, where he still holds the title in track for the farthest javelin throw. After graduation, he joined the Civilian Construction Corps, where he was a "golden gloves" champion boxer. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was serving at Hickam Field at Pearl Harbor when it was struck by the Japanese during World War II. He was one of the few remaining survivors. He obtained the rank of sergeant while in the Army. He survived a very long bout of malaria while serving in New Zealand.
He returned to stateside and to New Jersey, where he met his wife Betty Burbank, who was serving in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. The couple was married in 1944. Bob was honorably discharged from the Army in 1945.
He graduated from Minneapolis School of Business and moved to southwestern Michigan, where he worked for the Berrien County Circuit Court, for more than 20 years as a court reporter. He and his family resided in Eau Claire, Mich.
He retired to Hamilton, where he spent his retirement years enjoying hunting, fishing and walking his dogs.
Bob is survived by his loving wife, Betty; brother Bud of Hoyt Lakes, Minn.; daughter Lynne Johnson of Encinitas, Calif.; granddaughter Lindsey, age 15, and grandson Justin, age 12, and his faithful hunting dog Dixie.
Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 17 at the Whitesitt Funeral Home American Legion Post No. 94 will present military honors.
The family requests that memorials be made to Ravalli County Humane Society in Bob's name.