Robert Hlavaty
Robert Hlavaty

Obituary of Robert A. Hlavaty

Robert A. "Bob" Hlavaty, Sr., 85, a cherished husband, father,grandfather, and uncle, died April 2, 2023, at his home after a long illness.

He was born March 2, 1938, in Valley Cottage, NY, to August and Augusta (Oerter) Hlavaty. His family moved to Fort Montgomery, NY, where his father served as police chief for the Palisades Interstate Park Police. They lived on the banks of the Hudson River, fostering Bob's affinity for the outdoors and water sports.

In 1961, he graduated from the New York State Maritime College in Fort Schuyler(Bronx). He then served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Alcor (AK-259), stationed in Charleston, SC. After leaving active duty, he served in the Naval Reserve until his honorable discharge in 1978, at the rank of lieutenant commander. During hisservice, he further cultivated his love of sailing, which he continued on the Hudson for years.

He married the former Diane F. Baltera, at St. Mary’s Church in Washingtonville, NY, on Sept. 30, 1961. She was his devoted caregiver for the last five years, and survives at home.

Bob was employed as a computer programmer at IBM Poughkeepsie for more than 25 years. In 1971, he and his family lived in the Netherlands for a year while on assignment for IBM. After retirement, he worked as a consultant to IBM.

He was a longtime member of Holy Trinity Church in Poughkeepsie, where he had been active in the folk group and the religious education program, and in later years was an usher.

Bob had been a competitive ski jumper for years at Bear Mountain State Park and was an avid downhill skier into his late seventies. He was also a self-taught guitar player; loved gardening; and had a knack for striking up conversations with anyone and everyone.

He had been active as a biker and a runner and had been a member of the Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club. He had volunteered with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, the Dutchess County Coalition for the Homeless, and Germania Hall of Poughkeepsie.

He and Diane enjoyed films, music and ballet, and were regular patrons of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, and County Players in Wappingers Falls. They also loved to dance together and enjoyed traveling, including regularly vacationing in Newport, RI, and Lake Placid, NY.

In addition to his wife of 61 years, he is survived by his children, Robert A. Hlavaty, Jr. (Terri), of Saugerties, NY; Marie D. Hlavaty (Billy), of Rowayton, CT; Laurie Hlavaty of New Paltz, NY; and Jennifer Duffy (Patrick), of Poughkeepsie, NY; his grandchildren, Grace and Meredith Holod of New Paltz, and Maya Duffy of Poughkeepsie; two step-grandchildren and four step-great-grandchildren; a brother- and sister-in-law, Eugene and Coni Baltera of Middletown, NY; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his grandson, Nicholas Duffy, and by his brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Ellen Hlavaty.

The family thanks all the friends, neighbors and health-care professionals who helped and supported Bob, including Vassar Medical Center's ER and 7th-Floor South doctors, nurses and patient techs; home health aides; physical therapists; paramedics and EMTs, and Hudson Valley Hospice, which enabled Bob to spend his final days at home surrounded by his family.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 10, at Timothy P. Doyle Funeral Home, 371 Hooker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 11, at Holy Trinity Church, 775 Main Street, Poughkeepsie. Burial with military honors will follow at St. Peter's Cemetery, 171 Salt Point Turnpike, Poughkeepsie.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to LaGrange Fire Company #2, 504 Freedom Plains Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603; or Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. (; or Hudson Valley Hospice at (; or to Holy Trinity Church.

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