Robert Gabriel Komac, 76, passed away November 14, 2023, in Carson City, Nevada of Parkinson’s Disease complications. Bob was born in Roundup, Montana to Edward R. and Marguerite (Trouchon) Komac. He and his family soon moved to Billings, Montana where Bob graduated from Billings West High School in 1965. He attained a BA cum laude in English at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington in 1969.
Bob was eager to start teaching yet also wanted to travel. He applied to the fledgling Peace Corps and was accepted. He was sent to a village on the west coast of Africa where he taught English in Ghana for two years.
On his return home he taught in Hardin, Montana. In 1978 he was hired to teach English at Carson High School in Carson City, Nevada. As an avid skier and hiker, he was happy to live close to the Sierra Nevada. The balance of his 30-year teaching career was spent in the Carson City School District. Most of that time was in the high school Language Arts Department, which he eventually led as Chairperson, and where he met his future wife, Mary Ellen. He also worked for several years at Eagle Valley Middle School where he was department Chairperson.
During summers Bob worked on attaining two additional degrees from the University of Nevada Reno: BS in Finance and MA in English Literature. He was seen as a valuable resource to the school district, State Department of Education and, the UNR Department of Education, working on many committees and special projects. He also contracted to write test items for ACT and proficiency exams. Before the end of his career, he was recognized as Teacher of the Year, Carson City School District; Teacher of the Year at both Eagle Valley Middle School and Carson High School; and Walmart Teacher of the Year.
After retirement Bob continued to be amazingly well-read and enjoyed his book club immensely. He accumulated a wide-ranging home library and could never pass a bookstore without browsing and buying. His love of books extended to 10 years of volunteer work at the Carson City Library as a book mender.
Bob continued to enjoy traveling. International trips included northern Africa, Ireland, the British Isles, Scandinavia, western Europe, Japan, and Canada. He and his wife joined several Road Scholar groups visiting domestic locations in his later years.
Aside from his professional achievements, Bob will most be remembered as a gentle, generous, and non-judgmental soul who drew people of all ages and backgrounds to him. Known for his integrity and steady nature, he was well liked and respected. He will be greatly missed as a loyal friend, husband, and family member.
Bob was predeceased by his parents, his brother Edward C. Komac and his niece Kelli Komac Dredger.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen (Clark) Komac; nephews Ron Komac (Jenny), KC Komac, David Clark (Lynn); niece Susan Clark Lynch (Al); and several grandnieces and nephews. Also, surviving are his sister-in-law Sharron Komac and brothers-in-law Jim Clark and John Clark.
The family would like to thank the many friends who rallied around Bob while he was dealing with health challenges. Also, his caregiver Lisa Gage and the St. Mary’s Hospice team deserve our heartfelt gratitude for making his last months comfortable.
At his request, no services will be held. Donations to his favorite causes or to charities of your choice will honor Bob: Wylie Animal Rescue Foundation, PO Box 5364, Incline Village, NV 89450; FISH, 138 E. Long St., Carson City, NV 89706; or The Yellowstone Park Foundation, 222 E. Main St., Suite 301, Bozeman, MT 59715.
A great teacher is a great artist…It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. -John Steinbeck