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Robert “Bob” Hawley Culbertson

Posted: Monday, Dec 3rd, 2012


Surrounded by the love and support of his family, Robert “Bob” Hawley Culbertson died at home in Aptos Friday, November 30, 2012 after a short illness. Bob was 90 years old.

Bob was born April 24, 1922 to Harvey and Mildred Culbertson on their family’s Central Valley farm in Delhi, California. He spent his childhood in Delhi, attending Livingston High School and Modesto Junior College, where he was student body president.

Transferring to UC Berkeley, Bob began his major in Food Chemistry.  World War II interrupted his college. He was immensely proud of his time in the Navy, serving as second-in-command in Italy and France, then as captain of an LST in the Pacific returning Japanese prisoners of war to Japan. When the war ended, he returned to Berkeley to finish his degree in 1947.

Bob married Virginia Sibley in 1948 and created a family of three daughters; Joan, Janet and Joyce. Bob started work as a food chemist. Career interests changed and he ended up being transferred to Watsonville where he met Marty Franich and established a partnership that led to 60 years at the car dealership. Truly dedicated to his work, he never retired, working full time up to the day of his illness.

In December of 1979, Bob married Sharon Holmes and gained a new family of sons; Mark, Chris, Michael, and Greg. Love of family was the main guiding force in Bob’s life.

His connection to UC Berkeley and his fraternity brothers continued through the years with his support of Cal Football.

Bob felt strongly about contributing to his community. He served as board director for the Red Cross commander of the American Legion, president of the Lions Club, Chairman of the House of Committee for the Elks Club, board member of the Visiting Nurses Association, and Grand Jury. Awards included the Distinguished Achievement for Quality from Ford Motor Co., the Paul Harris Fellow Award, and the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year for 2009.

Everyone who knew Bob will miss this wonderful man. He is survived by his wife, Sharon, his children, Joan Frey (John), Jan Culbertson-Dickey (Larry), Joyce Parr (Dino), Mark Holmes (Rene), Michael Holmes (Kim), and Greg Holmes; his 13 grandchildren and one great grandchild.  He was predeceased by his parents, Mildred and Harvey Culbertson, his siblings, Carl Culbertson and Florence Van De Water; his son, Chris Holmes and his son-in-law, Ken Frey.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be held in January 2013. Information will be given at a later date. Mehl’s Colonial Chapel was entrusted with funeral arrangements.

Donations in Bob’s name can go to Hospice of Santa Cruz and the Cabrillo College Foundation. Our thanks go to the Visiting Nurses Association, the Visiting Angels, Hospice of Santa Cruz, Watsonville Hospital Nurses, Dr. Bayaca, and to his numerous wonderful friends and work colleagues.

For the complete article see the 12-04-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-04-2012 paper.


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