Robert Gary Chituras, born October 19, 1943, at Robertson Hospital in Modesto. He was the son of George and Aline Chituras. A long time Modesto native; Bob attended Enslen Elementary, Roosevelt Junior High, and Thomas Downey High School. He graduated from high school in 1961 and then attended Modesto Junior College, where he received a degree in communications.
Bob enlisted in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War and served aboard the USS Princeton, as a Yeoman Third Class. He served his country from 1965 to 1967. After returning from Vietnam, he utilized his communications degree to become a disc jockey at radio stations; KYOS in Merced, and KYNO in Fresno. Fellow DJ and friend Bob Neutzling (Johnny Walker) says of Bob, “What a great guy. Known on the air as Chip Roberts, he actually interviewed me for
a job at KYOS in 1968. At the time there were no openings. A short time later I received a call from Doc Hill, the owner of KYOS, and he offered me a job replacing Bob Chituras on the air. I kept in touch with Bob and would visit him at KYNO in Fresno , while he was doing midnight to 6:00 AM. I will always remember him as a very nice person. He is one from my early days in radio that I will never forget.”
Bob worked at Hosking’s Food Products; later named Major Hosking’s, and then Major-Sysco. He served in these capacities as a driver, dry and frozen goods salesman, and transportation manager. He established RG Chituras and Son Yard and Home Maintenance Services as an interim way to survive. Later he went on to work for Westurf Nursery, Inc. He culminated his working career working at Foster Farms as a driver, and most notably retiring as a vehicle safety manager.
Bob was a part of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) association as a valued member, starting in 1961. He progressed to NASCAR, serving as flagman, announcer and later a track promoter at Merced Speedway, ending his racing affiliation in 1985. Bob officiated high school football sports with the NCOA, achieving the Rich Bernasconi Award for the “Ultimate Consummate Official.” He was a devoted trap shooter with Valley Trap League and ATA member for 25 years. Bob was an avid fisherman and loved spending time with friends and family. He also loved taking frivolous trips to numerous bingo halls and casinos.
Bob died June 12, 2017. He is survived by his son, Johnathan; grandsons Zachary and Graysen; and nephews Steve and Jeff Harkrader. Bob was preceded in death by his parents George and Aline Chituras, and sister Georgia Chituras.