Robert John Paulas
MILFORD - Robert John (Papadopoulos) Paulas, born November 27, 1921 in Manhattan, New York City, NY passed away on October 5, 2014, after a brief illness. Robert was predeceased by his parents, John Paulas and Ottilie (Fischer) Paulas, Hilda (Rowe) Paulas, his wife of 63 years, and a sister, Jacqueline Haight. He is survived by a son, John Paulas, and a granddaughter, Latisha Paulas of Goldendale, Washington. He is also survived by a daughter, Judith (Paulas) Struck and son-in-law, Glenn Struck of Milford, a grandson, Brian Struck of Villanova, Pennsylvania, a granddaughter Jennifer (Struck) Potocki and husband, Jason Potocki, and a great-grandson Tyler Potocki of Milford.
Bob began life in Manhattan, NY near where the George Washington Bridge would be built ten years later. His family then resided in Astoria, Douglaston, Forest Hills, and Flushing, Queens, NY until 1939. In 1939, Bob moved with his parents to Chatham Township in Morris County, New Jersey. He graduated from Chatham High School in 1941. After high school, Bob took a job working for CO2 Fire Equipment in Newark, NJ until his enlistment in the Air Force in 1942.
Bob bravely served in the US Army Air Force at the rank of Staff Sergeant during World War II. At the completion of his training in Miami, Amarillo, and Seattle, Bob was certified as a flight engineer on B 17's. His assignment to the 24th Combat Mapping Squadron took him to the Pacific Theatre (China, Burma, and India). While there, Bob was a flight engineer on a B24 high altitude photo reconnaissance plane. He flew the hump 19 times. After surviving a plane crash in the Bay of Bengal, Bob returned to the US for rehabilitation. Bob received an honorable discharge in October 1945. He was a lifetime member of the DAV and was formerly active in the American Legion and Rotary International.
Bob's working life included jobs at General Photo Products, Inc. in Chatham, NJ, from the mid 1940's through the 1950's. While in Chatham, Bob was active with the American Legion Post 92, the Chatham Emergency Squad, and was a charter member of the Chatham Rotary Club as well as a member of the Chatham Methodist Church. In 1960, Bob took a job with Anken Chemical and Film in Newton, NJ and remained there until 1969. During those years, he and his family resided in Fredon Twp. (Sussex County, NJ) where Bob served on the Township Committee and was a member of the Newton Methodist Church. In 1969, Bob was hired as purchasing agent for the newly built County College of Morris in Dover, NJ. Commuting to Dover from Fredon Twp., Bob worked there until his retirement in 1983.
Bob and wife, Hilda, moved south to Pittsgrove Twp. in Salem County, NJ. While in Pittsgrove, Bob was active in the Elmer Rotary Club and was a member of the Olivet Methodist Church and later the Union Grove Methodist Church. In 2004, Bob and Hilda relocated to Milford with their daughter and son-in-law. Bob maintained a membership in the American Legion Post #3 of Milford and was a member of the Avenue United Methodist Church.
Bob loved to make something from nothing. Holding a once yearly, weekend yard sale and smiling all the way to the bank was one of Bob's favorite activities. He could often be seen scouring area yard sales for a great find which he could later resell or tear apart and take to Fitzgerald's Salvage in Lincoln. During his 10 years in Delaware, Bob loved to disassemble old computer hard drives before heading out with a trunk load of scrap metal. He was a favorite among the Fitzgerald office girls! At age 91, Bob hung up his screwdrivers, wrenches, and other tools and took to napping his day away. Poor health sent him to the Delaware Veteran's Home, Milford, in September 2013 where he received excellent care and resided until his death. "Trader Bob", as a friend once nicknamed him, was a unique individual and he'll be sorely missed.
Family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of Robert's life on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at the Avenue United Methodist Church, 20 N. Church St, Milford. A viewing will take place from 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The funeral service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Friends and family are invited to remain for a luncheon following the funeral. Burial will occur at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Bob's memory to Avenue United Methodist Church, 20 N. Church St, Milford, DE, 19963 or to the Delaware Veterans Home, 100 Delaware Veterans Blvd, Milford.
Condolences may be emailed to email@example.com
Arrangements handled by Rogers Funeral Home, Milford.