Robert Chuk

Obituary of Robert Alexandre Chuk

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing, on February 14, 2024, of Robert Alexandre Chuk, a loving, charming, and devoted husband and father.
Bob was born in Ely, Minnesota, not far from the Canadian border, on March 4, 1939, the last of 11 children of John (Johan) and Frances Chuk (née Kozar). At the age of two, his family moved from the Iron Range of Minnesota to Chicago. At the age of 10, Bob proved to be a gifted musician when he began studying accordion and learned to play by ear. He wrote and played much of his own music, but his passion was traditional Slovenian music, owing to his family’s roots. His musical talent extended to the piano and organ as well. He briefly served in the Air Force from 1962-64. He met his future wife Maria, from Monterrey, Mexico, when she joined a German pen pal club, to which he belonged. They married at her family’s home in Monterrey on July 26, 1971.
Bob was a performer through and through. In addition to entertaining family and friends with his musical performances, he was an excellent storyteller and jokester. It was often impossible to tell when he was joking. He loved a good pun, any play on words, and he could deliver a punchline with perfect comedic timing. Humor was his comfort and his way of connecting with all of us. He made us laugh. He gave us nicknames. He saw the world in ways no one else did.
Bob was adventurous, spontaneous, and an independent thinker. He was a creative and inventive problem-solver. He had a MacGyver-like ability to temporarily fix just about anything. He had a clever idea for everything and loved tinkering with devices and taking things apart, studying how they work, and reassembling them, usually in a completely new and unexpected way.
Looking back on his life, it’s possible that the massive heart attack Bob suffered in 1978 at the age of 39 encouraged him to live his life to the fullest. So, he did. He would face other serious health scares over the years—a clogged aorta requiring emergency surgery, another heart attack, and cancer—but he always proved resilient and came out of each physical setback stronger and full of life. As a father and husband, there was nothing he wouldn’t do for his family. He lived and loved with gusto and verve, bringing family, friends, and complete strangers so much joy.
Over Bob’s lifetime, he lived in many places, including Michigan and Florida, and he raised his family in Illinois, Minnesota, Mexico, and Texas. In 2020, he and Maria moved from San Antonio, TX to Purling, a small hamlet just a few hours north of New York City in the Catskill Mountains. They spent their days studying scripture together, taking turns reading passages and meditating on God’s Word, which strengthened Bob’s faith and trust in Jesus. He came to love the landscape and wildlife around his home, where he died peacefully, at the age of 84, surrounded and loved by his family.
Bob is survived by his wife of nearly 53 years Maria Cruz Chuk (née Ramos); four daughters Felicia Gabriele Belkholm (Jeb Stewart), Rita Elena Chuk-Petroskas (Chris Petroskas), Natasha Alexandria Chuk (Justin Maiman), and Roberta Stefanie Chuk-Caneff (Ryan Caneff); and five grandsons Dylan (Heidi), Ian, Oscar, Merik, and Gavin.
His death leaves a tremendous void in our hearts. We will miss his laugh. We will miss his jokes. We will miss his expressive eyes. We will forever carry his memory and the indelible impression he made on our lives.
The family asks that donations kindly be sent to The American Heart Association ( in memory of Bob.
Cremation has taken place through the care of Simple Choices, Inc.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared with the Chuk Family, online at:
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