Obituary of Robert Steven Nakon AKA Nakoneczny
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Robert Steven “Bob” Nakon, AKA Robert Nakoneczny, 79, of Morgantown, West Virginia, passed away Thursday, May 18th at his home. He was born May 1, 1944 in Brooklyn, NY, a son of the late Anthony and Mary (Hershkowitz) Nakoneczny. Bob will be greatly missed by his siblings, Nancy Boehm of Ben Lomond, CA, Richard Nakon and his wife Audrey of Naples, FL, and Donna Peterson and her husband Richard of Vernon, CT, several nieces and nephews and many dear friends from WVU and the Morgantown community. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Geoffrey Boehm. Dr. Nakon attended DePaul University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. He did his post graduate work at the Illinois Institute of Technology and Texas A&M University, from which he received a Ph.D. in chemistry. He did his post doctoral studies at the University of Arizona and Iowa State University before coming to West Virginia University. Bob was a Professor of Chemistry at West Virginia University for 30 years, retiring and receiving the honor of Professor Emeritus from WVU. While on campus at WVU he was a long time advisor to the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and he attained the position of District Vice President of the fraternity. Bob enjoyed many varied interests in his free time, such as boating on Cheat Lake, the fine arts, going to plays in New York City, and playing competitive bridge where he garnered many Bridge Master points. He was particularly proud of his horticultural ability, growing tomatoes and many varieties of flowers and plants in and around his home. Bob was extremely proud of his Polish heritage and Polish ancestry. He enjoyed polka dancing and attending many annual Polish festivals in the Midwest. He treasured his trips back to Chicago to revisit the areas that he grew up in, the Polish Catholic Churches in Chicago and to feast on his favorite Polish food, and boy could he eat. Bob also enjoyed researching the lineage of his Polish family which culminated in satisfying his lifelong dream, a trip to Poland to visit the areas of Poland from which his family originated. Bob was a sweet, compassionate person, honest with strong moral principles and a deep abiding Catholic faith. He always took care to communicate with friends and family, remembering birthdays or the important events in their lives. Many of his former students marveled at his ability to remember their names and where they were from. Bob enjoyed his many years as an educator at WVU and inspired many of his students. A true testament of Bob’s effect on his students is that many of them kept in contact with him after graduating from WVU and some became close personal friends. He was a strict but fair instructor although some students referred to him as the “evil Dr. Nakon” for his demand that you learn the material if you were in his class. Some people might be surprised to learn that Bob was an excellent dancer, having won a dance contest as a teenager on the Record Hop, a local Chicago television show which was similar to the American Bandstand show. Bob was first and foremost a people person. He was fun to be with and always the life of the party. Many will remember his contagious laugh. Being with Bob was always fun and sure to result in a great time. Anyone wishing to honor Bob may make Mass Intentions for Bob at St. Mary Roman Catholic Church, Morgantown, West Virginia or at a Catholic Church of your choice. There will be no public services at this time. Hastings Funeral Home has been entrusted with cremation arrangements and online condolences may be made at www.hastingsfuneralhome.com.