Robert J. Palowoda II

robert palowoda ii
Born in Warren, Michigan, Bob was the oldest child of Robert and Phyllis, and grew up as part of a large, close-knit Polish community in the Detroit area. He spent a lot of his time in upstate Michigan while he was growing up, where he developed a deep love for camping and fishing. Bob was a remarkable man, with many interests—he seemed to have been born with an understanding of how things fit together and a high aptitude for electronics--as a youngster he industriously repaired and sold junked TV sets he found at a friend's junkyard. After a career as a mechanic on GM and high performance imported automobiles, he moved to Fremont, California to work in high-tech, initially with Megatest Corporation, and eventually as a performance engineer with Sun Microsystems. He was an amazing gardener, raising delicious heirloom tomatoes on plants that were over 16 feet tall. He was an experimental gourmet cook, creating wonderful meals on the fly, and gifting his friends with jars of homemade pickles, home-smoked salmon and crawfish bisque. He loved to travel, enjoying trips to Sweden, Italy and Mexico, but his favorite activity of all was fishing. He will long be mourned by a tech community across the world, who will miss the generous support he provided through his website,, to UNIX developers and support staff, and through which he made friends across the world. He is survived by his birth family: mother Phyllis, brother Mark Palowoda, sisters Cathy (Guzick) Pool and Susan Guzick and their families, and his daughter, Kelli Palowoda. He is deeply mourned by Margaret Thornberry, daughters Katy and Tessa, and grandson Ellory—his family by love for the past 21 years—and by friends too many to mention. Time and location for a celebration of Bob's life will be announced at a later time.

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