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Robert G. Sotnik

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Robert Gregory SOTNIK 1947 ~ 2011 Robert Gregory fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, February 3, 2011, at his home in Bellevue. His wife, Carol, was by his side. Robert was born May 28, 1947, to Russian immigrant parents Victor and Alichka Sotnik. He grew up in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood, where then-Fort Lawton was his childhood playground. Many years later, Robert became a charter member of the Friends of Discovery Park, which supported the creation of the park from Fort Lawton. Robert graduated from Queen Anne High School in 1965, and from the University of Washington in 1969, where he obtained a degree in social welfare and elementary education. He began his teaching career with the Seattle Public Schools at Coe Elementary, then taught for 24 years at John Rogers Elementary. He retired in 2003, having completed 33 years of teaching. Robert was very proud of his Russian heritage. From an early age, he played in the Seattle Balalaika Orchestra. Later he co-founded the Balalaika Trio, which performed annually at the Northwest Folklife Festival for over 30 years. The Trio was featured weekly at the Kaleenka Restaurant and played at many local events. Robert was an accomplished musician who played the domra, balalaika, banjo, bandura, hammered dulcimer, and guitar. Through his music, Robert developed friendships which lasted more than 50 years. Retirement enabled Robert to pursue a wide variety of interests. He enjoyed billiards, small county fairs, photography, fireworks and the fourth of July, good clothes, the Blue Angels, and sunsets over the Olympic Mountains. Robert loved traveling throughout the Northwest: Whidbey Island, Vancouver, BC, and Moclips were his favorite destinations. Robert was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2008. The disease, however, did not slow him down. His enthusiasm for life kept him traveling, shopping, and making music. He always maintained a positive outlook and genuine gratitude for the gifts of this life. Robert is survived by his loving wife, Carol Hosmer Sotnik; sister, Dorothy (Vernon) Ackels of Port Orchard; uncles, Igor (Lydia) Gladstone of Woodinville and Valentin (Patricia) Gladstone of Camarillo, CA; nieces, Kristi McGee and family, and Kathy Ackels; and many cousins. He also leaves behind many dear friends whose lives he touched throughout the years. A Panikhida (Memorial) Service will be held on Monday, February 7, at 7:00 PM, at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, 1714 - 13th Avenue, Seattle. The Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, February 8, at 11:00 AM at St. Nicholas. Burial is at Washelli Cemetery, with a reception to follow at St. Nicholas. Memorial gifts may be made to the Restoration Fund for the Russian Orthodox Chapel at Washelli, c/o St. Nicholas Church, or to Group Health Hospice.
Published in The Seattle Times from Feb. 6 to Feb. 7, 2011
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