Robert C. Paynich (1938 - 2008)

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Robert Charles Paynich, 69, died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on Jan. 18, 2008.

Robert "Bob" was born in Butte on Jan. 24, 1938, to Virginia (Muretich) Delaney and Albert Pajnich.

Bob grew up in Butte's McQueen neighborhood, attended Holy Savior Elementary and the Christian Brothers High School (now Butte Central High School). In high school, he played drums in the band for the Butte Tumblers. Bob and his band accompanied the Tumblers and played for many social events in Butte and throughout Montana.

Bob grew up in a family that emphasized hard work, integrity, dedication to community, and personal sacrifice; he lived this ethic all his life.

In Butte, Bob worked at The Toggery, at Fuller Paint, and at Gamer's Shoes, where he discovered his interest in retail sales. After graduating from high school in 1955, Bob worked briefly as a truck driver at the Berkley Pit where his father labored as a copper miner. After a tragic mining accident in which his uncle was killed, Bob decided to pursue his college education.

In 1958, Bob moved to Bozeman to attend Montana State University. As a college student, he began working for Ray Hartman and Heinie Mockel at Hartman Mockel Menswear.

He met the love of his life, Patricia Beaton, on the steps of the Student Union Building at MSU, and they were married May 4, 1963. Bob and Pat were blessed with three daughters: Katy, Colleen and Sharleen.

In 1969, Bob bought into Hartman Mockel, and went into partnership with Bob Braaksma in 1970. The "Bobs" worked together every day for 35 years and became lifelong friends. Bob took great pride in his business and dedicated his creative energies to making unique store displays, providing outstanding customer service, and making his store a gathering place where people enjoyed visiting and shopping. He could tell a man's suit size just by looking at him, make even the most reluctant guy look dapper, and expertly gift-wrap presents with handmade bows and perfect corners, using only three pieces of tape.

Bob was active in the Downtown Business Association and enjoyed the camaraderie of other Main Street merchants. He volunteered as the Sweet Pea T-shirt sales coordinator for 20 years, and actively participated in community clean up programs and promotion of Downtown Bozeman. Bob retired from Hartman Mockel in 2002, after 42 years in business, to be with his family and enjoy more free time.

Bob appreciated everyday experiences: trail running at Sypes Canyon, working out at the gym, meeting his friends for daily coffee klatches, reading the Bozeman Chronicle and the Montana Standard from cover to cover, woodworking, listening to music, and taking day trips to Yellowstone Park and surrounding areas.

In his own way, Bob acted as a goodwill ambassador to people throughout the world. He and Pat hosted numerous exchange students and international visitors, many of whom he maintained relationships with until his death, most notably: Stephane Richardet of France, and Kumiko Yoshii and Yoshihiro Nagai of Japan.

He was, in his words, "a simple guy," dedicated to family, friends and his community. He was a committed and avid recycler, snow shoveler, and shoe shiner. He was a loving and devoted dad, husband, grandfather and friend. Bob Paynich was a good man.

He was predeceased by his maternal grandparents, Danica and Nicholas Muretich; his paternal grandparents, Elizabeth and Louis Pajnich; his father, Albert Pajnich; his sister, Carol Joy Paynich; and his granddaughter, Meghan Rose Paynich Strahn.

Bob is survived by his mother, Virginia Delaney of Butte; his aunt, Mary Kambic; his brothers, Albert (Nancy) Paynich of Butte, and Dan (Bonnie) Paynich of Great Falls; his wife of 45 years, Patricia Paynich; his daughters: Katy (Derek Strahn) Paynich, Colleen Paynich, and Sharleen (Chris) Carraway; his grandchildren, Ian, Alexander and Noah Strahn, and Will and Georgia Carraway; cousins, Grace Rhodes, Karen Eller, and Bill Muretich; nephews, Jason (Becki) Paynich and Joshua (Holly) Paynich; and many beloved relatives and friends.

Bob lived all of his days with a smile, a story, and a pressed shirt. He will be dearly missed.

A funeral Mass will be held in his honor at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital Cancer Center, or to Bozeman Deaconess Hospice.
Funeral Home
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-3184
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Jan. 20 to Jan. 22, 2008
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