Obituary of Robert Steve Gulka
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With great sadness we announce that Dr. Robert S. Gulka, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2023 with his family by his side. He leaves behind the love of his life, and wife of nearly 55 years, Beth, daughter, Nicole and son-in-law Dominic Parent; grandchildren Victoria(partner Ethan) and Eric, step-grandchildren Nathan, Bryanna and Linnea, son Ryan and daughter-in-law Liz Bellingham and grandchildren Paige and Macey, siblings Orest (Kathy), Myron (Brenda dec.), Eugene (Stella), Jerome, Murray and Dianne (Myron), sisters-in-law Delores (Wally dec.), Adelle (Don), brother-in-law Hart (Elaine)(Bonnie), along with a bounty of nieces, nephews and cousins. He is pre-deceased by his parents Steve and Lena Gulka, stepmother Mabel Gulka and son Dallas.
Robert grew up in Preeceville, SK where he spent countless hours fishing, playing hockey, golfing, delivering newspapers, and working in his father’s garage. Robert graduated from Preeceville High School and moved to Saskatoon to pursue his post-secondary education at the University of Saskatchewan where he met his true love, Beth. He convocated with a Bachelor of Arts & Science in 1963. Robert then moved to Ontario to pursue a Doctor of Optometry. After his first year of studies Beth left her position at Winnipeg General Hospital where she taught nursing to join Robert in Waterloo. In May of 1968 Robert and Beth were married in Saskatoon, Returning to Waterloo until 1970 when he received his O.D. from the University of Waterloo. Robert and Beth returned to Saskatchewan and in 1971 they established his private practice in Saskatoon where they would lay roots working together at R & B Optical and raising a family. During his career Robert was president of the Saskatchewan Association of Optometrists from 1979 to 1980 and was named Saskatchewan Optometrist of the Year in 2005. He served on the board of Sheptytsky Institute and served 6 years on the University of Saskatchewan Senate, 3 of which as Senate Chairman. Robert was one of the founders of Prairie Ophthalmics (1988) Inc. as well as the “Friends of the Huskies”.
An avid sportsman, Bob pursued hockey, curling, badminton, golf, and fishing. Robert and Beth have held season tickets for the Saskatoon Blades for 51 seasons and have cheered loudly and proudly for the Roughriders and Huskie hockey and football teams, “Who, Let the Dogs OUT!”. Robert was a member of Riverside Country Club for 41 years and competed in many golf tournaments throughout the province. Golf took Robert, Beth, and friends to locations across North America including the annual pilgrimage to Madge Lake. He loved the outdoors never passing on an opportunity, summer, or winter to drop a hook in the water and try and land the big one. Robert enjoyed travel, visiting countless destinations around the globe with his most cherished being frequent trips with Beth to Hawaii and Las Vegas. His skills on the blackjack table were feared from Dakota Dunes to every casino on the Vegas strip.
Robert’s biggest passion was his love of friends, family and the joy and laughter shared together. He was the loudest supporter and cheerleader of his children and grandchildren in all their pursuits. His door was always open, with an enormous smile he welcomed one and all with a joke and a song. The table was never too full to add one more setting and no glass every left empty. Robert’s kindness and generosity knew no bounds.
On that note we invite you to join us in a celebration of Robert’s life at Saskatoon Funeral Home on Monday, March 20th at 10:00 a.m. with reception at W.A. Edwards Family Centre to immediately follow the service. Beth, Nicole and Ryan would like to extend thanks to all of the family and friends for the love and support provided over the last two months as well as to the nurses, doctors and care providers at RUH, St. Paul’s Hospital, the Saskatoon Cancer Centre and Dr. Lonny Viden for their exceptional care. In lieu of flowers, donations in Robert’s memory may be made to Autism Services of Saskatoon, the Canadian Cancer Society, or a charity of your choice.