Robert was born at Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton, SD on August 10, 1959, son of Laddie (deceased) and Janene (Hlavac) Cabalka. He attended grades K-12. in Scotland, SD. He graduated and attended college at University of SD Springfield in Springfield, SD and graduated with an Associate’s Degree for Auto Body Repair. Robert worked for Greg Stockholm in Springfield for a while but then moved to Yankton and worked for Steve Ellis at Steve's Body Shop. He opened his own body shop east of Highway 50, known as Riteway Auto Body. From there he decided to transition to a salesman for Sturdevant’s Refinish Supply Center (SAE Warehouse) where he currently worked for the past 17 years. He traveled in four states, met lots of great people, was a personable man and enjoyed visiting with all his customers. He didn't hesitate when they called him for help; he would be there even if on the weekend. Bob married Linda Paulsen on June 5, 1982 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Yankton, SD and to this union two daughters, Megan and Heather, were born.
Robert was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. He was a very active member of the Yankton Jaycees for many years up until he aged out at 40 years old and served as President for 1 year. He officiated high school football games in South Dakota and Nebraska for 25 years and served as a board member of the Yankton Girls Softball Association for 25 years. He spent most Father's Day weekends over that time volunteering at the Yankton Girls Softball Association's Annual tournament. He organized and was a volunteer coach for several summers for ASA/USA girls fastpitch softball teams over the years. One of his greatest joys was the last team he organized and coached, the team his granddaughter, McKenna played on in the Yankton Fury Hornets. He helped organize and get the Gazelle high school and middle school club softball program and teams started. For 18 years he helped coach the Gazelle High School Softball teams until stepping aside in the fall of 2017 because of his health, but he stayed involved with the off-field activities. He wIII truly be missed by all the girls he coached over the years and the coaches. He will be remembered for his wonderful smile, laugh and positive attitude; he always thought of other's needs before his own. When the grandkids were grumpy or out of sorts, he would quote from Phineas & Ferb: “You Know What Today Is?" and they would answer "what" in a somber tone, then he would say "It's going to be the "BEST DAY EVER!" For many years the family enjoyed their vacations at the Winderness Resort on the Lake at the Wisconsin Dells.
Robert is survived by his wife, Linda of Yankton, SD; daughters, Megan (Brent) Arens of Crofton, NE and Heather (Jake) Hacecky of Mission Hill, SD; grandchildren: McKenna, Brynley, Tatum, Trey and baby Arens, due in October; his mother, Janene Cabalka of Yankton, SD; sisters, Elaine (Ron) Jansen of Lenexa, KS and Diane (John) Nicholson of Yankton, SD and many nieces and nephews.
Robert was preceded in death by his father, Laddie Cabalka and a child in infancy.
Memorial donations can be made to: BeTheMatch.com (operated by the National Donor Program).