Changing of the Guard:


It is with saddened heart we bit farewell to Robert J. Velkey, Bob passed away on March 14, 2019. 


Robert James Velkey
July 23, 1941 -- Mar
ch 14, 2019

Text Box: “If you find yourself in jail and you have one phone call, Call Bob!” Those words from Bob's "adopted son" Todd Munch speak volumes about the depth of Bob Velkey's life: Friendship and compassion emanated from Bob, and as his final act of generosity, he donated his body to the Anatomical Gifts Program at Duke University. Bob lives on!

A war veteran, philosopher, collector, dog lover, hard worker,  historian, lover of old movies and "very quirky," Bob was born in Trenton, MI, the first child of the late Andrew and Anne Kimpan Velkey.His sister Joan called Bob "an exceptional big brother " who always bought her candy, taught her to jitterbug and never forgot her birthday.

He is survived by his wife, best friend and partner of 57 years, Marilyn "Mickey" Michalko  Velkey; children Elizabeth "Beth" Velkey Brockman (Larry) of Durham, NC; Laura Velkey (Shane Jernigan) of Chapel Hill, NC; Dr. Andrew J. Velkey II (Karen) of Newport News, VA; and Dr. J. Matthew Velkey (Susan Johnson) of Durham, NC; grandchildren, Isabella Etheridge, Miles Etheridge, Catie Brockman, Isaiah Jernigan, Matt Brockman, John Velkey, Benjamin Jernigan and James Velkey; sister, Joan Velkey Feltovich (Paul) of Pensacola, FL, two nieces, a nephew and two grand-nieces. Bob was preceded in death by his grandson, Cy Etheridge. 

Raised in Sharpsville PA,  Bob was a Distinguished Military Graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Business Psychology.  Bob served proudly in the U.S. Army Infantry with training as an Airborne Ranger. Bob received a Bronze Star and other commendations for his service during the Vietnam War.

Bob was honorably discharged as a captain in 1969 and continued in the Army Reserve until his discharge as a major in 1984.
In civilian life, Bob had a long career in sales and marketing. He served as the first President and General Manager of Robot Coupe, USA, successfully building it to a profitable growing company. In 1995, Bob and Mickey formed Velkey & Associates, an independent manufacturer’s representative company in the food service equipment and supply industry; they sold the business in 2017.

Along the journey, Bob served as president of the Edina, MN Jaycees and Winchester, VA Jaycees. He was named Edina Jaycee Man of the Year. 

A Celebration of Bob’s Life will be held on Saturday, May 18 at First
Presbyterian Church of Durham, 305 East Main St. Durham, NC at 11 a.m., followed by a reception for friends and family.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either Urban Ministries of Durham or Stewpot Community Services of Jackson MS.