Robert George Tanac

image of Robert George Tanac

Robert George Tanac

Robert George Tanac was born on July 24, 1922 in Everett, Washington to John Tanac and Anna (Skucy) Tanac. Bob’s sister, Margaret, was born two years later. When Bob was three, his mother passed away and the family moved out to live with his grandparents in East Sunnyside, now Soper Hill Rd. They lived with his grandparents until 1933 when they moved back to Everett. Bob graduated from Everett High School and attended the University of Washington. It was at the UW, in the School of Pharmacy, where Bob would meet Pat (Hornall) Tanac. Bob’s schooling was interrupted by WWII. He served in the Army and was in the Quartermaster Corps. He said they asked for volunteers and if anyone could type, everyone else took a step back, so he guessed he volunteered. Bob went overseas and was stationed in Paris. During this time, he wrote Pat on a daily basis. At their 70th Wedding anniversary all of those letters were on display.

After the war, Bob returned to the University of Washington to finish his degree in Pharmacy. Bob and Pat were married on February 24, 1946. While Bob was finishing his pharmacy degree, Pat, who had already graduated in pharmacy, began working at LD Bracken’s Pharmacy. Bob finished his degree in 1947 and started working at Bracken’s Pharmacy and continued to do so for the next 39 years. Bob worked at the Medical Center store on Pill Hill and the majority of the time at the downtown store on 4th and University, in Seattle.

Bob and Pat moved out to the Shoreline area in 1950. They purchased a house on 8th NE near 145th. Both of their children, Joyce, 1950 and Wesley, 1953 were born while living at this location. The house was small and one of the activities that Bob had from his Slovak heritage was to dig. With a conveyor belt and a shovel Bob dug a full basement. It was soon after this they moved to 185th and Burke in the Shoreline area. This house had a basement!!!!!!

From 1951 to the present, Bob and Pat’s life revolved around their children and extended families. Camping along the Oregon and Washington Coasts, Lake Wenatchee, trips to Disneyland, being active in the gymnastic scene around the Pacific Northwest and nationally ,a trip back East in 1962 for a gymnastic meet and family vacation, and trips to Hawaii. These trips were highlighted by attending the 1968 Olympic Games where Joyce was a participant. Bob made two trips during his life to visit Slovakia. He made a trip with Pat in 1990 and another trip with Wesley, Dianne and Mallory in 2008. He was able to visit relatives and see where his father, John, lived until he left at age 16. Until March 24, 2020 Bob was the oldest living Tanac!!

Bob’s spiritual life began at Trinity Lutheran in Everett, Washington as a baby. The baptismal font is in honor of his mother. Throughout the years Bob was active at University Christian Church and when Joyce and Wesley left the house, he became involved in the workings and upkeep of University Christian Church. You could always depend upon Bob to do what was needed. Bob was active in Book groups, meetings on the business of the Church, a greeter, transportation for those who needed a ride and took care of the Chuc houses which were low income housing for students at the UW. Many people would chuckle as they would see Bob mowing the lawn which was on quite a slope and amazed that he did not fall and hurt himself. In fact, he did many times but would never complain. UCC gave Bob great solace and as membership dwindled the Church was sold and torn down. Bob never went by to see the empty lot. It was like a part of him was gone forever.

In 2010, Bob and Pat moved out of their house of 50 years to University House in the Wallingford area. Bob had a new community to befriend. Bob was active in the UH’s activities and was a friend to everyone. If you wanted to know what was going on Bob was the person to ask. The morning coffee group was of great importance to Bob. It was the highlight of his day and he always brought the paper down so others could read it or do the crossword. During their time at University House Bob and Pat Celebrated their 70th Wedding anniversary and it was a joyous occasion. For the next two years Bob showed all of us what unconditional love is all about as he was the main caregiver for Pat. He was with her when she passed as he had been for all 72 years of their time together. Pat passed on December 3, 2018.

Bob was a friend to everyone and always could be counted on to help out. His compassion and willingness to do whatever needed to be done is a great example for all of us.

Bob always had a great deal of energy. He loved to walk and usually quite fast. His extended family referred to him as the energizer bunny. He took the bus down to Seattle Center to watch his granddaughter finish the half marathon. After seeing her cross the finish line, he began to look for a bus to take him back to University House. The buses were not running so he decided to walk home, north on Aurora across the Aurora bridge, which is scary to drive over, and up Stone to University House. Travelled about 5-6 miles, at the age of 90. That would take a lot of Everyready batteries.

Bob was extremely proud of his extended family, Joyce and George Schroeder, Wesley and Dianne Tanac, his grandchildren, Julie ( Gillespie) and her husband Drew, Nathan and his wife Emily, Molly (Druliner) and her husband Eric and Mallory (Hill) and her husband Doug, and 4 great grandchildren, Braden Gillespie, Caden Druliner, Gavin Druliner and Isla Hill and his Goddaughter, Kris (Radke) Ilgenfritz.

Services will be announced at a later date.

23 Responses to “Robert George Tanac”

  • Paula Reed says:

    What a wonderful tribute to an amazing man. I enjoyed learning more about Bob,s life as I remember reading Pat’s life story not that long ago. Thank you for sharing. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Susan Bolduc says:

    Beautiful tribute! Great job all

  • Teresa Hill says:

    This tribute made me smile! There’s so much to say about Uncle Bob. He was one of a kind and always had a smile, a laugh and boundless energy! Definitely a life well lived. ❤️

  • Pat Blum says:

    Bob was such an inspiration to us all.Always there to help and always with a smile on his face. His smile and laugh were infectious. Love you cousin Bob.

  • Zdenka Dubanova says:

    Since childhood,I knew we had relatives to US (which actually ment on another planet). Later in adulthood, thanks to the kindness of Pat and Bob, I had the opportunity to meat many of Tanacs and Skucys members over there. It was 26 years ago. Those three week were amazing for me. Thanks to Pat’s ability to keep contacts and Bob’s ability to do everything with ease and joy, I knew we had a family in US. Thank you Bob for everything.

  • Charlie Peters says:

    Wes and Joyce,
    Wes you did a marvelous job in memorializing you Dad. You both have my sincere condolences. Your Dad was always “Mr. Tanac,” to me; I never called him anything else. One time he asked me why I didn’t call him “Bob.” I replied; “Because I respect you Mr. Tanac and you will always be Mr. Tanac to me.” He accepted my answer. When I worked in Lynnwood (1982-1986) I would occasionally stop by and see your Mom and Dad and they were always so kind to me. When I was discharged from the Navy (1975) I stopped by the Drug Store (on 4th Ave) and hoped he still worked there. As soon as he saw me there was this great big smile that upon his face, and from behind the counter he said “Well, Charlie Peters your home.” He came out from behind the counter and hugged me. Then he shocked me he said “Let me take you to lunch.” He dropped everything and took me to lunch. I will never forget either your Mom and Dad and how they always treated me very kindly. Now the memories will become more important than ever and may you remember the best of what they left. I wish you both the best.

  • Sandra Hartley says:

    Heartfelt condolences – what a great man, father and husband. He brought joy everyplace he went. His shoes cannot be filled by anyone.

  • Linda Luna says:

    Joyce and Wes –
    I remember your dad and mom always being at the YMCA, watching us practice gymnastics and at all the competitions. They were always there offering support, not only to you, but to all of us! They will be missed by many!

    Wes, I learned a lot about your dad that I didn’t know from your tribute. Thank you!

  • Lynn Hall says:

    Joyce and Wes,
    My condolences on the loss of your Dad. Both your parents were such loving, cheerful supporters of the entire gymnastic community. I have appreciated and will miss them both.

  • Sue (mullet) Foster says:

    To Joyce and Wes -words fail me but reading the obituary brought tears to my eyes – my sympathy to you and a thank you in my heart for the positive memories of your mom and dad. —Sue

  • Dale Burson says:

    Joyce and Wes,
    Your dad’s picture in the Times today brought back some wonderful memories of a great guy and his great family. Thank you for sharing his story.

  • Dale Burson says:

    Joyce and Wes,
    Your dad’s picture in today’s paper brought back some wonderful memories of a great guy and his nice family. Thanks for sharing.

  • Steve and Joan Greif says:

    Bob lived a full life. What a nice obituary. We are thankful for his service to our country and for helping to raise such fine kids. He and his family are in our prayers.

  • Vel Gerth says:

    I only knew Bob for less than a year. His sparkle stays here at the round table where he expressed his honest feelings about hunger (loved to eat) loved to shower and loved to let it be known that he owned fears. I loved this the human Man not afraid of sharing with anyone who he was. It has been my pleasure to know Bob.

  • Carl and Peggy Johnson says:

    We had the pleasure of knowing Bob and Pat for many years when we all attended University Christian Church.
    Bob participated in many church affairs and always showed his Christian faith in how he interacted with others in making important decisions.

    In later years Bob and Were both on oxygen and often compared notes on our experiences.

    Bob was much loved by al of us and will be missed.

  • Niki Lonski says:

    I knew Bob while I worked at University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). No finer person has ever lived. I am a better person for having known him.

  • John Bracken says:

    Joyce & Wesley,

    What a great run for both of your parents!

    As the grandson of LD Bracken, and son of Jim Bracken, I took deliveries for the Pharmacy from the time I was a young teenager.I was fortunate to have had many, many fond memories of interactions with Bob. In fact – I have Bob to thank for educating me with how to navigate my way by foot around Downtown Seattle. He was a very patient man who always took his time with me. He will be missed.

    All the best to you and your familes.

    John Bracken

  • Dale & Sheila Shirley says:

    Joyce and Wesley,
    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your fantastic father ‘Bob’ who was always so supportive of me in all my endeavors in my many years coaching gymnastics at the Seattle Downtown YMCA. Bob was responsible for my acceptance on the 1966 USA team of gymnasts to travel to the middle east and Africa. His friendship over the years was treasured by me and Sheila. He will be greatly missed as he was that positive presence in our lives.

  • Melanie Bjork says:

    Bob was our neighbor for the 2 1/2 years we lived in Shoreline,and I knew him also from my time singing in the choir. Truly one of the good guys, you were so lucky to have him!

  • Silvia and Ivan Horniak says:

    Joyce and Wes,
    Our condolences on the loss of your Dad. We remember him and Pat in our prayers.Be healthy and strong in these times. (Family from Slovakia, Trencianske Stankovce).

  • Donald and Joyce Leak says:

    Bob’s life was one of service to others!! He loved University Christian Church and filled many roles for the congregation. He was an outstanding inspiration to all!

  • Karen and Roland Colliander says:

    Joyce, Wes and Family,

    Whenever we think of Bob, we see his smile, with that twinkle he always had in his eye. Kind, caring, intellegent, a sense of humor, love of family, and a friend to everyone he met! Bob left such a legacy of what best represents the best of human-kind! We will always carry memories of Bob in our hearts!

  • Carol and Eigil Flaathen says:

    Joyce and Wesley,

    Was so sad to hear about your Dad, Mr. Tanac, as I always called him.
    He was a wonderful person, always smiling, positive and there for you.
    Thank you ,Wesley, for telling us more about him, what a life!
    Thinking of you and your families. Keep healthy in these strange times!

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