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Robert Paul Petkanics

November 5, 1931 ~ March 3, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Robert Petkanics Obituary

Robert Paul Petkanics, 91, died on Friday, March 3, 2023 in Ocala, FL. He was born on November 5, 1931 in Homestead, PA and was the son to the late George and Mary (Cucka) Petkanics. Following his early graduation from high school in Pittsburgh, PA., Robert moved to New York City, where he met and later married his late beloved wife of 60 years, Collette Joy (Preston)  Petkanics. During the Korean War he was enlisted in the United States Army and stationed in Japan, where he trained as a traffic clerk and learned the basics of logistics that lead to his long career at Kraft Foods.  While stationed overseas in the army, Robert also took pleasure in serving as the disc jockey for the troops, indulging his lifelong love of jazz.


Robert was a first generation American and the youngest of 12 children.  He used his GI Bill benefits to attend and graduate from New York University Stern School of Business, while working full time and raising three children. He used his education to advance in his career with Kraft Foods, working his way up to Vice President of the company.   He resided with his family for over a dozen years in Freehold, N.J., moving with Kraft to Chicago, IL , where he retired after thirty-two years of service. In 1991, Robert and his wife moved to Dunnellon from Chicago, Illinois to reunite with friends and enjoy the warmer climate.  He attended the Episcopal Church of the Advent, where he served as a greeter and an usher for many years.  He also became a member of Rainbow Springs Golf Club where he was an avid golfer and was part of a golf team called the Duffers. In addition, he was a member of the Pittsburgh Club in Dunnellon.  Until the last year of his life, Robert enjoyed crossword puzzles, reading and word games and routinely bested his children and grandchildren in Scrabble games.

Those left to cherish his memories are his son, Bryan George Petkanics (Sandra), Waccabuc, NY; his daughters, Donna Marie Petkanics (Jay Gerstenschlager), Los Altos, CA, and Brenda Joy Petkanics, Ocala, FL; his grandsons, Doug Petkanics (Jaime), NY, Scott Petkanics (Nicole Scott),  Dana Point, CA,  Kyle Gerstenschlager (David Hammerman), Pacific Palisades, CA and James Petkanics, Ocala, FL;  his granddaughters, Karina Gerstenschlager (Alex de Chatellus), Denver, CO, Kyla Petkanics, Ocala, FL and Elizabeth Van Tassell (Andrew), Summit, New Jersey; his great grandchildren, Colin, Lillian, Luke and Wren.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 10 am at Episcopal Church of the Advent, Dunnellon, FL.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make donations to the Robert Petkanics Memorial Fund through the Alzheimer’s Association in Robert’s memory.






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Memorial Service
April 1, 2023

10:00 AM
Episcopal Church of the Advent
11251 SW Hwy 484
Dunnellon, Florida 34432


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