Robert Dean Tushla
August 10, 1933 – December 20, 2023
Robert (Bob) D. Tushla, 89, passed away on Tuesday, December 20, 2023 at Accura Health Care in Cherokee, IA after a long struggle with dementia. A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee. A luncheon will follow the service. Burial will be at a later date.
'Bobby Dean', as he was known to his relatives, was born on August 10, 1933 to Sylvester and Mary Rose (Kazda) Tushla in Atkinson, NE. The family farmed north of town. Mary Rose passed away when Bob was 12.
He attended country school and high school at Atkinson St. Joseph's. Bob was a standout athlete for the Bluejays, helping the basketball team make it to two state tournaments and placing in five individual events at the state track meet as a senior.
Bob continued his education and athletic career at Wayne State Teachers College where he played basketball, shared the school record for the long jump and was named Most Outstanding Freshman Athlete. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955 and returned to Wayne where he graduated with honors and was a starter on Wildcat basketball teams that twice played in the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City.
Bob married Gayle Joan White on June 1, 1957 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Atkinson. The couple made their home in Bancroft, NE where he was a teacher, coach and principal. During this time his two sons, Tim and Tom, were born.
As the school's basketball coach, Bob had a career record of 210–90, taking two teams to the state tournament – one of which finished the season ranked second in the state. Also while in Bancroft, he earned a Master's of Education from the University of Omaha, a Master's of Mathematics from Colorado College and a Master's of Earth Sciences from New Mexico Highlands University.
In 1972 the family moved to Correctionville, IA where Bob served as high school principal and a teacher at Eastwood High School.
Upon his retirement, Bob and Gayle moved to Estes Park, CO and were owners of a gift shop. They loved exploring the Rocky Mountains and hosting family and friends. In 2003, the couple moved back to Iowa to be closer to their grandson, Max, and also opened Ages Ago Antiques in Cherokee.
Gayle served as caretaker for Bob as his dementia progressed. She passed away in 2019.
A woodworker, artist and photographer, Bob was also an avid Nebraska Cornhusker fan.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife, parents and infant brother, James. He is survived by sons: Tim and Barb Tushla of Sioux City, IA and grandson Max of Chicago, IL, and Tom Tushla and Shelley Urban of Cherokee.
Saturday, February 11, 2023
2:00 - 3:00pm (Central time)
Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home - Cherokee
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 11, 2023, at the Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee. Burial will be held at a later date.