Robert “Bob” A. Polivka passed away peacefully at his home on January 24, 2023, at the age of 70, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. His loving wife, Wendy was by his side. Bob was born on April 4, 1952, in Little Falls, New York, and was the son of Stephen “Steve” and Florence (Curtiss) Polivka.
Bob grew up in Salisbury Center, New York, and continued to live there throughout his adult life. He graduated from Dolgeville Central School in 1970. His childhood was spent going on outdoor adventures, reading books, and listening to baseball games on the radio in bed at night. He was a lifelong fan of baseball and continued his tradition of listening to games on the radio into his adult life. He attended Ohio Northern University as a major in Engineering and Liberal Arts before moving back to Salisbury Center when his father passed away in 1971. He married the love of his life Wendy in 1976, and they had three daughters together.
Bob was an entrepreneur and found success beginning in 1974 as the owner of Salisbury Repair followed by the current day Salisbury Motor Car Corp. During these years, he also ran a successful towing business. Later in his career, he was the owner of RP Auto Brokers, which took him on travels to every major city in the United States and connected him with fellow car dealers across the country that became lifelong friends. In addition to the businesses he owned, he also enjoyed a period of his life umpiring high school baseball and refereeing high school basketball.
Bob was a valued member of the community in both Salisbury and Dolgeville. He volunteered for many years as an ambulance driver and firefighter, serving for 39 years as a member of the Salisbury Volunteer Fire Department. Bob was always ready to help and, many times, the first on the scene when he heard a call come across the scanner. At the time of his death, he was Commissioner of the Salisbury Fire District. In the spirit of volunteering and making an impact on communities, Bob was also a founding board member and lifelong supporter of Johnson Park Center in Utica, New York.
Bob was a dedicated father and husband; generous and thoughtful to both his friends and family as well as strangers in need. He loved telling stories from his life and valued moments of symbolism and irony. He was also known for his quick wit and one-liners. His lifelong faith in Jesus Christ shaped his character and values, and we know he is now at peace in the loving arms of his Savior.
Bob is survived by his wife, Wendy Polivka; daughter, Julie (Carlos) Trujillo; daughter, Alison (Charles) Silverstein; daughter, Stephanie (Jose) Vazquez; and his treasured grandchildren, Isabella Trujillo, Benjamin Trujillo, and the most recent addition to the family Henry Silverstein. Other survivors include his sister, Susan Schumacher and her children Carey Schumacher-Zeithaml and Chris Schumacher; Wendy’s sister Sharon VanAlstine, her husband Eric VanAlstine, and their children Lisa Dean and Andrea VanAlstine; and Wendy’s mother Sue Glowacki Pagano.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Miller-Plonka Funeral Home. Please see the obituary section at millerplonkafuneralhome.com to share a story or leave a condolence. We would love for those who knew him to remember his life with us at Miller-Plonka Funeral Home, 30 Wolf Street, Dolgeville, New York, on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. Calling hours will be from 11 am-1 pm, with funeral service to follow. The Funeral Service will be live-streamed starting at 1 p.m. and can be viewed by clicking on the link below. A graveside service will be held on Friday, June 2, 2023, at 10: 30 a.m. at Salisbury Rural Cemetery. Memorial contributions in honor of Bob can be made to Johnson Park Center at www.johnsonparkcenter.org or to the Salisbury Volunteer Fire Department by mailing checks to:
Salisbury Volunteer Fire Department
P.O. Box 65
Salisbury Center, NY 13454
The family would also love to collect stories from his life so if a story comes to mind please write a letter and mail it to:
P.O. Box 188
Salisbury Center, N.Y. 13454
The family thanks all those who have shown love and support in recent days.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert “Bob” A. Polivka, please visit https://www.millerplonkafuneralhome.com/