about banner
Robert Shalka Obituary

Share / Subscribe to this tribute

In Memory of Robert (Bob) John Shalka

It is with great sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of Robert (Bob) John Shalka on June 3, 2023 at the age of 78. He was the son of the late John and Kate Shalka and was predeceased by his sister Cecilia Burr. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 27 years, Elena Gudyrenko, and cherished children Roberta and Philip Shalka.

Robert J. Shalka received a Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). He was a retired immigration foreign service officer and joined the Canadian Immigration Foreign Service in 1974. From 1974 to 2010 he served in eight overseas missions (Stuttgart, Bangkok, Moscow, Singapore, Kyiv, Riyadh, Bonn and Berlin) and three headquarters assignments. Bob will be dearly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues.

Friends and family may pay their respects on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at Heritage Funeral Complex, 1250 Trim Road, Ottawa, ON. Visitation will start at 2 p.m. with a funeral service held in the Heritage Chapel at 3 p.m., followed by a small reception. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides would be sincerely appreciated. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 8 MB. You can upload: image. Drop file here


Dear Olena, I’m devastated by your loss. It is so hard to lose a life partner like Bob, always caring, supportive, loving husband and father and just a fun guy and good person. Let his sole rest in peace.
I am praying for him, and for you and the kids to carry through this sad time and to always cherish the best memories of your life with Bob.

Bob, i can’t still believe. and it is not fair… You have always been the positive yourself, the loving husband and farther. I hope the book of your treasured memoires can be published.

Our heartfelt sympathies are with you and your family at the loss of your beloved husband and father. Our deepest condolences to you at the passing of Bob.

Bob will always be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor and unprecedented knowledge of the world in the broadest sense of this word. Perhaps a bit selfishly, I will always remember that he was the first reader of my PhD dissertation draft. His comments gave me strength to continue. It was equally an immense pleasure to chat to him just very recently figuring out the system of European governance. He undertook this quite a challenge effortlessly, delicately addressing the concerns. Matvei, on his part, remembers a great conversation he had with Bob last summer on classical Greek democracy system. Whatever the subject, Bob offered a wealth of knowledge and a great joke to tell!

You are in our thoughts and prayers. We are thinking about you during this difficult time and sending you all much love and strength. May he rest in peace and you find comfort in the memories you shared.

Dear Lena, Roberta and Philip! We are grieving with you the loss of your beloved husband and father. We will always cherish our memories of Bob as a wonderful and thoughtful man, a kind friend, an intellectual, a true historian, and a dedicated public servant. Most importantly, we will remember. Bob as a devoted family man, who always put his family first. With love and respect Nadia, Oksana, Erick and Roksolana

Elena – so sorry to hear this sad news. Praying for comfort for you and your family in this time of grief.
Sincere condolences
Tara Lang

Condolences on your loss Robert was a wonderful person – a loving husband and a caring father. He cherished his family and did everything he could to provide for them.
He loved Lena unconditionally. He spoke with so much tenderness and affection about Roberta and Phillip. I know it’s hard, but we all must «just keep swimming». Be strong. The memory of Robert will forever remain in our hearts.

Lena, Roberta, and Phillip, please accept our condolences. Losing such a remarkable father, husband, and friend is a terrible loss. In our memories, Bob will always be remembered as a cheerful, caring, attentive, and kind soul.
His loss has left an indelible mark on our hearts and will forever be felt. We mourn alongside your family and share in your grief during this trying time. Bob’s legacy will continue to live on, and we hope that the memories shared will provide some solace and comfort.
May he rest in eternal peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

My condolences to the family on Bob’s passing.

Bob was a reassuring presence when this FS1D started with External Affairs in 1990. He was friendly, thoughtful and knowledgeable. While confident in his own intellectual capacity he remained humble and with a good sense of humour. His stories were entertaining and educational. Simply put he was a good man.

My condolences to Lena, Roberta and Phillip. Cousin Bobby, as I knew him, will be missed. My son Jack still speaks of the visit Bobby made to Calgary with young Roberta many summers ago and our fun visit to the zoo together.
You are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Dear Lena,
My deepest condolences to you, Roberta and Philip.
For the rest of us, it is very sad to learn that Dr. Bob will no longer be around to regale us with his arcane knowledge of the history of ethnic and religious groups in Ukraine, Slovakia and surrounding area. But we will have the memories of his stories and mischievous smile. My mind immediately goes back to your wedding in Kyiv, to the ceremony at church (it was a beautiful sunny day) and dancing the polka at your reception at the Canadian Embassy, one of the highlights of my posting in Kyiv.

With great regret, I will not be able to attend the funeral service but my thoughts are with you
Love Lillian

Robert was an incredible person! I remember him from my childhood. He was always very kind, responsive and attentive. It is important for every child to be heard and paid attention to, Robert always listened to me and supported the conversation, I always appreciated it very much. You could talk with him for hours on various topics. And he cooked very well and I always thought he was the perfect man! Nowadays, it is not easy to find a person who combines so many qualities. I am happy that I knew him! I will miss him! RIP our dear Robert

Dear Lena, our heartfelt condolences for your loss. Bob was a wonderful boss and friend I knew. I was lucky to work with him in Riyadh.
I know you will miss your dear Bob. Bob reached great heights in his life and will always be remembered as a kind, loving husband, father and friend.
Our thoughts and prayers to you and your loved ones.

Dear Lena, Roberta and Philip, our thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Bob was an amazing person who touched many lives in many special ways. He will live on in the minds and hearts of so many people. May you find comfort in the wonderful memories you have. With deepest sympathy, Wolodymyr and Nataliya Dvorak

I got to know Bob in retirement having been introduced by a mutual friend who had sung his praises long before. I wish I had met him earlier. I was amazed by his academic erudition and fascinating foreign service career, both of which gave rise to numerous stories, many entraining about human foibles in history and the bureaucracy. After the pandemic impeded our restauranting, our email exchanges and zoom meetings put his talents on full display with the added bonus a great sense of humour, He always found a past historical analogy to reinforce a certain point about a current discussion. I also discovered what a loving husband and father he was, in particularly regard to caring for Philip and taking pride in his accomplishments. Bob’s departure creates a great emptiness in our lives that cannot be filled. We will miss him, and will cherish his memory and his contributions to having made our lives richer.

My cousin; my friend,
Bob, we shared an age, a town, the farm: wheat fields and prairie dew.
We grew up. We met up, too and shared England, Kiev, and Canada,
to pay respect; our loved ones gone;
We are one in Earth’s life song..

Mike and Louise (Shalka) Chatterton

We all have to go sometime, but I didn’t want you to go so soon. We’ll miss you Bob. You were a kind and gentle man. May your family be comforted in their time of grief.

Love from a member of the Ewanchuk family and your Alberta roots

My heartfelt condolences to Bob’s family and friends. I only came to know Bob in the past couple of years through Tony S. and regular Zoom calls to hash out the woes of the world and reminisce bygone days in Edmonton and Alberta in general. Although we never met in person, I feel that I have known Bob for many years. I will certainly miss his voice of reason and good sense.

Condolences to Gudochka, Phillip and Roberta. It’s hard to find the proper words. You are all in our hearts and prayers.

I am so sorry that Bob was not given more years to spend with his loving family.
I know that his absence will be keenly felt my many people.
He led a good life and was much respected by his colleagues who also appreciated his sense of humour.
May you find consolation in your memories

Dear Lena, our condolences…  It’s hard to admit, to go on living without our beloved ones… But we have memories. They warm us up when it’s especially hard. Those years you and Bob lived together left lots of good moments to remember.  Let them support you in your dark days. And your children, his and your love. And your friends. You are not alone. We all are grieving with you…

I worked for Bob in Riyadh in 1994. He came into the office his first day said there is a lot of work here, rolled up his sleeves and took stacks of visitor applications. He was a great boss fair and personable. I remember our weekend trip with the recently deceased Victor Majid to Bahrain driving through the Saudi desert. Bob was excited that in Bahrain a Polish accordion band was playing at local bar but we convinced him to go to the one featuring a Filipino band playing tributes to The Eagles and the best rendition of Hotel California I ever saw. Bob enjoyed himself and we all had a few beers which were forbidden in Saudi. Bob was a great family man too and we stayed in touch over the years.

I remember Robert quite well as he was in most of my classes. He also participated in one of the tv challenges of the time. I am retired and living in central BC and part time in WA. Please accept my sincere condolences.

© 2024 Heritage Funeral Complex. All rights reserved.