Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Robert "Bobby" Chavez, R.I.P.

Robert "Bobby" Chavez, R.I.P., Santa Monica and LACo OLS, Ret.:

   April 12, 1941- March 27, 2013


Update: April 2, 2013:

Just in from Rex Goble regarding the Memorial Service for Bob Chavez:

Thursday, 4/4/13 at 10am
Santa Monica 25 - Ocean Park Blvd

Reception to follow at Rusty's - Santa Monica Pier


From:     Lifeguard Alumni
Subject:     Passing of Robert (Bob) Chavez
Date:     March 27, 2013 10:43:17 PM PDT   

Hello all,

We just received the following message through Lea Barton.

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of retired lifeguard  Robert Chavez.  The Lifeguard alumni family passes along our condolences to the family of Robert Chavez.

When more information becomes available we will pass it along.

Best regards,



It is with great sadness to announce that Robert (Bob) Chavez passed away earlier this evening at St. John's hospital. 

April 12, 1941- March 27, 2013


Lea Barton


*** For those wishing to express their condolences to Bobby's family, please contact the undersigned or Nick Steers for the address.

Rest in peace, Bobby.  Your spirit lives on, of that we are certain.  Your friendship, smile, laughter, compassion and humanity are gifts that you shared with all of us.  For that we are eternally grateful.

We ask Bobby's friends and lifeguard colleagues to share a story as a comment or send it directly to the undersigned via email and I will post it here.  Immediately below are two black and white photos from Rex Goble's photo archives that are absolutely Classic from "back in the day" of the Santa Monica City Beach Lifeguard Service!  I've also included a couple of photos below that I have of Bobby in the past several years from lifeguard events which I post here to honor his memory and service as both a Santa Monica City and LACo Lifeguard.

Summer 1969. L2R, at Top, John Howe, Steve Saylors, Rex Goble, Wayne Pugh, Bob Chavez;  Kneeling, L2R, Tom Zahn, Mike Jennings, Abby Schneider, Curt Ando.  Photo courtesy of Rex Goble and Lea Barton.

Summer 1970:  Top, L2R: George Merritt, Bob Chavez; Front/Seated, L2R;  Wayne Pugh, Curt Ando, Steve Saylors, Rex Goble

Bobby Chavez, front and center, at the memorial service for Don Spitler several years ago. Photo courtesy of Will Maguire.
Bobby Chavez, at right; with his friend and lifeguard pal, Jimmy Doman. Photo courtesy of Will Maguire.

"Dos Amigos", L2R; OLS' Ret., Rex Goble and Bobby Chavez, circa 2009.  Photo by Will Maguire.

 About Bobby Chavez:

"I fondly remember Bobby as the deckhand along with boat captain Tom Zahn on Memorial Day 1978 when SMS was hoovering with rips (with rescues on SMS for the day in the triple digits) and making multiple trips to the rescue boat and lifting victims up to Bobby and he would haul them on board until a lull and then we would escort them back to shore."   Respectfully, Will Maguire.


And just in from Sam Bertolet and Harry Varnas, have a look at the story they have shared about Bobby at:

Bobby's Flying El Camino



Bruce Saylors mentioned that he spoke to his brother Steve recently and mentioned that Bobby had passed away and Steve told Bruce that Bobby was a "consummate waterman".


*** Video Alert ! ***  Here are two links to videos on YouTube. The first shows the missing man formation of the three Baywatch Rescue boats approaching the beach side service for Bobby just south of SMS Tower #26 (shot from SMHQ); and the second is a short interview of Bobby at the 2006 Santa Monica Lifeguard Reunion. This latter video was shot by Michael "Mick" Moriarty.

1.  Baywatch Rescue Boat Tribute to Bobby Chavez, April 4, 2013: The Video



2.  Bobby Chavez Interview in 2006: The Video



And here are the remarks that Harold Dunnigan said about his pal, Bobby Chavez, at the beach side
memorial service:


Rest in peace, brother!

Until next time.....

Will Maguire, Editor
"County Recurrent" News

1 comment:

William Maguire said...

Testing, one two three...