Robert K. Leik

November 26, 1930-January 9, 2023

Robert K. Leik passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully, on Thursday, 9 January 2023, at St. Michael’s Hospital in Silverdale. He was 92 years old. Bob was a very good man who gave much to his community in various ways. With a smile for everyone he met, he would present them with a song or two as well. His life was one well-lived and it can be assumed that he passed with few regrets. He will be missed.

Born in Dubuque, Iowa in 1930, he moved with his family to Oregon where he spent much of his youth. Bob received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon and then served as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Germany. Following his time in the service, he went on to receive his M.S. and Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin.

Joining the University of Washington as a faculty member in 1959, he began his teaching and research career, later moving on to the University of Massachusetts and then the University of Minnesota in 1975. He was the director of the Minnesota Family Study Center and associate dean of the graduate school. He retired in 2001.

He met his wife Sheila (Selfors) while at the University of Washington and they were married in 1970. Sheila had grown up on Bainbridge Island and, upon Bob’s retirement, they decided to return to her birthplace where they built a beautiful home in Port Madison. Using Bainbridge Island as their home base, they traveled extensively. They especially loved cruising, whether it was to Japan, Europe, or South America.

Bob loved playing with words, whether it be in writing novels, short stories, or song lyrics. But it was the pun that Bob could not abandon, no matter how “groan-able” it might be. As he often would say: “A good pun is its own reword.”

The Bainbridge Island Senior Center was a focal point in his life, an affiliation which started when he and Sheila began taking dance lessons there. For years, Bob volunteered his time and talents in making signs and props for different festivities at the center, as well as leading sing-alongs on Fridays.

Following the death of Sheila in 2011, he later formed a close friendship with Barbara Cole, and they were companions and housemates until her death only a few weeks prior to Bob’s own death.

At his request there will be no memorial or funeral but there will be a party later this year when the weather is more accommodating. If you would like to be notified regarding the time and location of the party, please RSVP to email: