Robert F. Vaselenko

Vas died of pneumonia on 22 July 2004.  He was preceded in death by his father, Fred Vaselenko, and is survived by his mother, Laura Kirk of Kalispell, Montana, and his sister, Caryl Bennett and husband, Robert of Whitefish, Montana.


Vas was raised in Williston, ND and graduated from Williston High School where he began his football career. He attended North Dakota State and Northwestern Prep School in Minneapolis prior to qualifying to enter the Naval Academy in 1952.  His most memorable sporting event was playing in the 1955 Sugar Bowl game, where Navy defeated “Ole Miss” 21-0. 


Upon graduation he was commissioned in the US Air Force.  He served in Sembach, Germany, where he was a tactical nuclear missile crewmember.  While in Sembach, he coached and played on the base football team, along with several other USNA Classmates.  Vas left the Air Force in 1963 as a Captain.


From 1963 until his demise, Vas managed the family farm in Williams County, ND.  He was a Master Mason, Past Master of the Masonic Lodge, and a Shriner in the KEM Temple for which he devoted many hours to charitable organizations.  In 1983 Vas moved to the Flathead Valley of Montana; he lived in Bigfork until his death.  Vas had a wonderful sense of humor and was an accomplished prankster.  Fishing, golf and hunting were an important part of his activities with friends, associates and classmates.  They all will miss his booming voice and distinct laugh.