PROVINCETOWN — Robert J. Bednarek of Truro died on Dec. 7, 2019, at Seashore Point Wellness Center. He was 91.
Robert was born on Nov. 24, 1928, in Berlin, Wis., the son of Bernard and Mary (Butler) Bednarek, and raised on their dairy farm in central Wisconsin. Robert was proud of his rural upbringing; he was educated at a one-room schoolhouse in Green Lake County and later at Berlin High School.
In 1946, he joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Japan. He served with the Far East Command in Tokyo, where his duties included typing copies of investigation reports and legal files of war crime evidence. Robert would later say that he worked for a general, because, he was told, unlike most others, he listened well and typed quickly.
While in Japan, he became interested in Japanese architecture and, after his honorable discharge from the Army, he studied architecture at Ripon College in Wisconsin. He then participated in an exchange program with the Mass. Institute of Technology, where he continued his studies of drafting, design, and architecture, and, after completing his formal education, he worked on numerous residential and commercial design projects from his office in Cambridge and later Truro.
In 1957, Robert moved to Truro with his partner, Dr. Charles Davidson, where he lived until his death. He loved the back shore of the Cape, with its unforested hills covered with bearberry and its salt marshes. Until a few years ago, he rode his bicycle or hiked to the shore every day, combing the sands for treasures, always with binoculars around his neck. He was an avid bird watcher, naturalist, preservationist, and collector of local history.
Robert was a longtime member of the Truro Conservation Trust, for which he held the positions of secretary and trustee emeritus. He enjoyed the services and company of the Truro Council on Aging, attended the Christian Union Church, and was a member of the First Congregational Parish, established in 1709, both in Truro.
Robert said of his beloved community that “in Truro, people go off in little houses in the woods and come out when they feel like it. That was the attraction for writers, artists, and theater people between jobs — they could be alone and not be bothered.”
A kind, proud, observant, and knowledgeable man, “Uncle Bobby” will be terribly missed by his nieces and nephews: Amy Stocklein of Madison, Wis.; Brian (and Jamie) Bednarek of Custer, Wis.; Andrew (and Amy) Bednarek of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.; Mira (and Dain) Trafton of Livingston, Mont.; Jonas (and Carrie) Bednarek of Verona, Wis.; and their families. He was predeceased by his partner, Dr. Charles Davidson; his brother, Donald Bednarek, of Madison, Wis.; and his parents.
Family and friends will be invited to a celebration of Robert’s life in the spring, at a time and date to be announced.
Expressions of condolence for the family may be left in the guest book at gatelyfuneralservice.com.