On Thursday, February 11th, Robert J Balchunas, loving and beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and dear friend of many, passed away suddenly, living his best life at the age of 78. Bob was born in 1943 in Bayonne, New Jersey, to Joseph and Jean Balchunas, where he was raised and graduated from high school. Bob lost his father at 18 and joined the Army where he served as a reservist for 9 years and was honorably discharged in 1969. It was in the Army that Bob first learned the joy of cooking for others (and himself). He met his wife, Verna Nacion, and they married in June of 1965 in Jersey City, NJ where they gave birth to their first two children David and Rosemary. Bob began a career on Wall Street as a page on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and then worked in the bond room. Bob earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Rutgers University, attending college at night while simultaneously starting his family, working full time at a major brokerage firm and serving in the U.S. Army Reserves. In 1971, Bob and Verna ‘moved west’ to Summit, N.J., where they had two more children, Rebecca and Robert. Over the course of Bob’s successful career as a fixed income trader and salesperson, he worked at several prominent firms and formed many life long relationships. Bob was a hands on man, who was never afraid to take something apart to try and fix it, and more often than not, he did just that. He loved working on all machines, however, a specific passion of his was convertible sports cars. After retiring from Wall Street, Bob embarked on a second career by opening an industrial fabrication shop where he worked with a variety of clients including architectural lighting and design firms and world renowned artists. Several works Bob helped fabricate have been exhibited world wide or are now permanent public art fixtures across the United States. Bob cherished his friends old and new and enjoyed playing bridge, debating politics, cooking gourmet meals, sharing red wine, going to see live jazz performances, completing crossword puzzles, playing golf, skiing with his family and friends and hosting all comers to his happy place, a second home in Vermont where made to order breakfasts were always included. Bob played tennis weekly for years with a group of close buddies with whom he enjoyed the competition on the court and all of the laughs afterwards at the Stirling Hotel. Bob was involved with Les Marmiton, an international men’s culinary organization where he further honed his cooking skills and he also joined the Carriage House Winemakers, another passionate group of kindred spirits. Bob and Verna were fortunate to travel extensively across the country and to Europe. They particularly enjoyed visits to St. Jean Cap Ferrat in the French Riviera where a beloved uncle of Bob’s resided. While Bob had many interests over a long and full life, his greatest passion was his “wonderful, beautiful family” and his greatest legacy is all of the great memories that he dedicated his life to creating with them. He was a dedicated and loving husband to Verna and an exceptional father to his four children and nine grandchildren, which filled him with immense pride and joy. He coached, he cheered, he comforted and guided them as they grew and Bob remained deeply committed to them as they became adults. Bob was always on call 24/7/365 and ready to spring into action to lend a helping hand, a giant hug, a safe ride home or whatever else was needed whenever his children, grandchildren or any friend was in need. “Big Bob” brought love, life, joy and fun to everything he did and was very much a force for good in this world. He loved nothing more than being together with the people in his life. His big heart was always in the right place and his intentions were good, which made him truly unforgettable. Bob was preceded in death by his father, Joseph and his mother, Jean and his parents-in-law Vernon and Rose Nacion. He is survived by his wife of nearly fifty-six years, Verna, his son David (Jean) and grandchildren Elizabeth, Caroline, Rachel and David, his daughter Rosemary, his daughter Rebecca (Kevin) and grandchildren William and Brian, and his son Robert (Katie) and grandchildren, Lola, Margo and Hadley. His sister Barbara Schorr (Roger), his sister-in-law Rosemary Arnone (Russell), and his nieces Jessica Hughes (David), Gina Soto (Chris), and nephews Dan Schorr (Meghan), Josh Schorr, several great nephews and a great niece. Visiting hours will be held on Friday, February 19, 2021 from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Bradley Brough & Dangler Funeral Home, 299 Morris Ave. Summit, NJ. A Memorial Service will be held on February 20th, 2021, at 10:45AM at St. Teresa of Avila Church, 306 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ. 07901. The Memorial Service will be live streamed. Please click on the link above. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations in his honor be made to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey @ https://cfbnj.org/give-in-tribute or Frost Valley Y.M.C.A in Claryville, New York @ https://frostvalley.org/. To send the family a condolence, please visit, www.www.bradleyfuneralhomes.com.