Robert L. Witek, Sr., formerly of Oceanport, Tucson, AZ, and most recently, Shrewsbury, passed into Eternal Grace on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 after a brief illness. Robert, or “Bob” as he was known to one and all, was born in Long Branch on July 24, 1928 and grew up in the City. Son of Anthony and Mary Witek, he lived on Edwards Avenue with them and his sister Virginia. He graduated from Long Branch High School with the Class of 1946.
Thereafter, Bob entered the United States Navy as a Reserve Ensign and began flight school at Pensacola NAS in Florida. Bob successfully completed his flight training and began his career as an aviator flying the Chance Vought F4U Corsair from the aircraft carriers USS Franklin D. Roosevelt and the USS Wright. Upon his Honorable Discharge from the Navy in 1949, Bob returned to Long Branch and took on a job as a lifeguard on the City beaches. It was there that his good friend Corky Prout introduced him to Frances Bruno who became the love of his life; his beloved “Peanut.”
Bob and Fran married on October 8, 1950 and began a love affair for the ages. Thereafter, the young couple built their home in Oceanport where they were joined by their first daughter Robin, and thereafter, second daughter Lee Anne. The Witek family was joined by their son Robert, Jr. several years thereafter.
Bob finished his Bachelor of Science at what was then Monmouth College in 1964 and upon completion of his degree, began his career as a Civil Servant working for the United States Army at Ft. Monmouth retiring as a GS-15 in the Information Systems Management Activity where he was comptroller and project manager for many interesting projects in the 1980’s.
Upon retirement, Bob and Fran moved to Saddlebrooke, an active retirement community located in Tucson, Arizona where they made wonderful friends and enjoyed many good times in the Great Southwest. Sadly Peanut passed away in 2013 at which time Bob and the family chose to relocate to New Jersey where he moved into Assisted Living at Arbor Terrace in Shrewsbury. While living there, Bob continued to enjoy his hobbies, sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of “Big Band” era music, “Sea Stories” from his time in the US Navy, watching sports on TV, and writing various pieces for publication in the Arbor Terrace newspaper.
Bob leaves his children, Robin of Colorado Springs Colorado; Lee Anne and her husband Ken Blackman of Simpsonville, South Carolina; and his son Robert and his wife Denise of Monmouth Beach, New Jersey. Bob also leaves his grandchildren, Jennifer Goldsmith, and her husband Mark; Malia Shewmaker and her husband Matt; KJ Blackman and his wife Kaitlin; and Kristin Blackman, all of South Carolina, and Alexandra and Elizabeth Witek of Monmouth Beach. Bob also leaves his great grandchildren, Lillie Goldsmith, Noah Goldsmith, Hannah Goldsmith, Abigail Goldsmith, Mia Shewmaker, Maggie Shewmaker, Madison Shewmaker, and Maci Shewmaker, who will be welcomed to the world in April of 2021. He leaves as well, many, many friends whose lives he touched throughout his 92 years walking this Earth, the friendship and love of whom he cherished until his last breath.
Let us not mourn for him but rather let us celebrate a life well-lived. He tasted of life to the fullest and he is Home now with his beloved Peanut. Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s name may be made to the Disabled Veterans of America, PO Box 1430, Cincinnati, OH 45250 as he was so very proud of his service to Our Great Country. A graveside service with Military Honors will be held on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12 noon at Woodbine Cemetery in Oceanport. The family invites you to leave a letter of condolence by selecting the Tribute/Guestbook link above.
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DAV (Disabled American Veterans)
P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati OH 45250-0301