Elected: April 10, 1997
Inducted: September 27, 1997
Born: Robert was born on May 30, 1918 to Nicholas and Udokia, who had immigrated together to Boston in 1916 from the Ukraine.
Family: Bob married Mary Houston and together were blessed with two sons Phil and Sam. After Mary’s death, Bob raised their two sons along with his growing business.
History: Bob’s first job was an ice delivery boy in Boston at age 11. He worked to help support his family during the depression years as a truck driver for the Sunshine Biscuit Co. Bob and some of his friends joined the Massachusetts 211th Artillery and Anti-Aircraft Unit of the reserve until his activation in the U.S. Army in 1940. During WWII Bob served as a motor pool sergeant and tow truck driver.
Business: Bob established Bob’s Tow Service in Vallejo, California in 1945 by purchasing a used dump truck from a government surplus sale and built his first tow truck through an Army surplus sale and assembled his own bed, winch and boom. In 1948, he contracted with the first motor club, the National Motor Club, which has remained continuously associated with Bob’s Tow family to this day. Bob still built all his equipment as the business and the city grew. In 1954, Bob contracted with several insurance companies to provide towing for their salvage pools. He now began assembling car haulers that could be loaded with winch and pulleys so that inoperable vehicles could be loaded by the truck’s own power. In 1970, Bob had acquired a 25 acre site for his corporate operation which had become the largest in the United States. He never retired from working, directing or advising in the towing business. He dedicated 48 years to the profession of towing, but really it was a dedication to people who needed a service. He answered his share of after-hours work because he made time for people. He managed and operated his company for the next 44 years. Bob was a friend to many and he loved to cook for the family outings all the while contributing to the community, charities and youth events. He will be remembered as a self-made man and a generous person.