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Obituary - Cmdr. Robert Dale "Bob" Matulka, U.S. Navy, Retired


August 11, 2017

Courtesy photo

Robert Matulka

Cmdr. Robert Dale "Bob" Matulka, U.S. Navy, Retired, of Arlington, Virginia, 79, died Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, at his residence.

Bob is survived by his devoted wife, Darlene (Gehler Lebedev) Matulka; his son, Michael Joseph Matulka and former daughter-in-law Edith (DeYoung) Matulka; his daughter, Meghan Anne Matulka, and daughter-in-law, Lori Dale Nicely; his grandsons, Patrick Robert Matulka and Alec James Matulka; his granddaughter, Marie Dale Matulka-Nicely; his sister, Elizabeth Ann (Matulka) (Darrell) Scott; his nephews, Gabriel William Scott and Aaron Joseph Scott; niece Rachel Elizabeth (Scott) Rodriguez; and his aunt Verna (Leischner) Pettibon.

Born at home in Chinook, Montana. He was the son of the late Joseph John and Agnes Caroline (Leischner) Matulka. Bob spent his childhood around his father's machine shop in Chinook and later drove tractor on the family wheat farm north of Turner and later the farm north of Dodson.

Upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1960, Bob married his beloved wife, Mary Kathleen "Kay" (Thompson) Matulka of Havre. They had two children, Michael and Meghan.

Bob earned his wings as a carrier pilot flying an A4D Skyhawk off of the USS Midway in Vietnam in 1963-1965. He earned his doctorate in aerospace engineering and space physics in 1970 at Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

A 20-year career in the Navy and then in the private sector involved work on satellites, computer hardware research and space application projects. Throughout, Bob faithfully maintained the family farm in Phillips County.

Michael gave Bob and Kay two grandsons, Patrick and Alec, and Meghan gave them a granddaughter, Marie. Kay passed away in 2007.

Bob found love again and married his wife, Darlene.

He will be remembered as kind, hardworking, giving, with a brilliant mind and a dry sense of humor. Bob loved Montana, especially his visits home every year to visit family and friends and to do farm business. It is Montana where he will be laid to rest. Bob will sorely be missed by his family and countless friends.

The visitation and funeral Mass will be held in Arlington, Virginia. A rosary service will be held at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church, Chinook, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, with interment immediately following at Kuper Memorial Cemetery, Chinook, Montana.

In lieu of flowers, Bob has requested donations in his memory to the United States Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation. Edwards Funeral Home, Chinook, is in charge of the arrangements.


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