“Nine Mile Bob” Robert Anthony Derlatka Jr., 69 of the Nine Mile Valley, passed on to be with his Lord in Heaven on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021 at St. Patrick Hospital.
He was born on April 4, 1952, in Toledo to Robert and Martha Derlatka Sr. As a young man, he loved roller skating, playing hockey and swimming. At 15, he met the love of his life, Judy Parcell, in a Summer Speed Reading Class. They were “checking each other out” and Judy was delighted that he asked to walk her home. They became the best of friends and their love for each other grew. While in high school, they had commitment bracelets made which they wore until getting married on July 22nd, 1971, following their first year of college.
Bob and Judy had their first little blessing, Jason, on January 30th of 1972. Their second, Rachel, came on January 4th of 1975. This was the year Bob went to Montana to prepare a place for his family. He was drawn to the beauty of the West from a past trip with Judy’s family and was eager to search for the Lord while living the Mountain life. At age 23, he moved his family to Missoula while he worked at White Pine Sash Co. and built a cabin in the woods of the Nine Mile Valley. Bob and Judy built their family and their cabin together and their third blessing, Daniel, came in November of 1980.
Bob and his family enjoyed living in the woods; camping, hiking, swimming and skiing. Bob was an incredible husband, dad and grandpa. He loved spending time with each of his children, watching them grow as he raised them to love God and love others. He taught his children how important family is and the importance of work ethic, prioritizing God, Family and work, in that order.
He always loved hosting family visits from back East. Whether it be “in-laws or out-laws” everyone was welcome. If more room was needed, up went the tents. You just had to be careful of the bears in the outhouse. Plenty of stories and jokes were created from 45 years of living on a mountain with no power or running water.
Bob was so proud of his children’s successes. In more recent years, Bob’s joy was also found in spending time with his grandkids. Giving them hugs, watching their sports and just visiting with them brought him happiness. He always wished he could see them all more, but cherished the moments he had with them.
Survivors include his wife, Judy, with whom he just celebrated 50 years of marriage in July of 2021; two sons and one daughter and their families, Jason Derlatka and his family, Rachel (Mark) DeJarnatt (Port Townsend, WA), Daniel (Amber) Derlatka (Lakeside, MT); his mother Martha Derlatka (Toledo, OH); one sister Marcia Kreinbrink (Whitehouse, OH); 8 grandchildren (Aleeya, William, Christian, Grace, Izabelle, Nicholas, Jade and Tanner); and several cousins.
The family will receive friends from 10:00AM until service time at the funeral home.
A service will be held at 11:00AM on Monday, November 22nd, at Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula with Pastor Wayne Morris officiating. Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Park with reception following.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Samaritans Purse: Operation Christmas Child, c/o Alberton Community Church, 421 Railroad Ave., Alberton, MT 59820, or online at https://www.samaritanspurse.org.
For anyone unable to attend the service, they may view it at service time by clicking on the box below.