Robert Howard Bury, Sr.|
August 6, 1918 - May 2, 2013
Resident of Redwood City
Robert Howard (Bob) Bury, Sr. passed peacefully at the Palo Alto Veteran's Hospital after complications from a surgery earlier in the week. Surrounding him at bedside was his beloved wife of 70 years, June Bury, along with children Susan Bury (Harry Battin), Bob Bury, Jr. (Sue Subbot), Judy Bury Alessandri (Tom Alessandri), and Patricia Bury and several of his surviving grandchildren. Known as "Bobbie" to his adoring grandchildren Kate (Ben), Maren, Elizabeth, Meghan, Anya, Margaret (Philip), Jon, and Angela (Brian) and extended loving family, Bob lived a long meaningful life as a successful businessman and civic leader, full of adventures, family outings, and meaningful service to his community.
Born during the last months of World War 1 in San Francisco, CA, his beloved parents (Helen and Howard) and dear sister (Gloria) formed a happy household that struggled financially through the Depression. By his early teens Bob began his work life delivering the San Francisco-based Shopping News during the graveyard shift and making deliveries for the local store while attending Galileo High School. He met and wooed June in 1937, and in 1941, days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he joined the US Navy. He proudly served 4 years in the Pacific Combat Arena as a Machinist Mate First Class, most notably on the USS Karnes, an attack transport ship that participated in reinforcing troops and equipment under Kamikaze attack during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.
After the WWII, Bob worked for Goodyear Tire Co. and subsequently bought an interest in a tire dealership in San Francisco, which expanded to Redwood City as the Bury-Vanham Tire Company in the 1950s and to Palo Alto in the 1960's. Bury became a civic leader in his new hometown, serving on the Redwood City council for 24 years including four years as mayor from 1968-1972, turbulent Vietnam War years that required deft handling of often contentious situations. Bury also served as president or chair of The Redwood City Chamber of Commerce, the Redwood City Port Commission, and Redwood City Kiwanis, as well as on numerous other service, local, regional and state boards and commissions, Council of Mayors, Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Association of Bay Area Governments, San Mateo Convention and Visitors Bureau, and more, retiring from civic life at the age of 92 when he retired from his appointment on the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District Board. A man known for his compassion, garrulous nature, lively sense of humor and quick wit, and sincere interest in the lives of others, Bob was the very definition of a people person throughout his life. ?
Nicknamed "Mr. Redwood City" informally by those in the city government offices and community, Bob was recognized by both the Redwood City Council and State of California with a designation of "Bob Bury Day" in recognition of his long and extensive public service. Public and private community service activities have focused on serving the needs of poor families, recalling only too well his family's difficulties during the Depression, with energies especially devoted to education, community resources, public works, housing, and services for low income families, disabled and elderly.
All of Bob's many friends and family are invited to attend a Celebration of Life, June 8, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. at the Veteran's Memorial Senior Center, 1455 Madison Ave., Redwood City, CA. Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers for our father and our family. In lieu of flowers, donations would be welcome for two organizations which had great meaning to Bob during his lifetime: Kainos Home and Training Center; 3631 Jefferson Ave, RC, 94062 or Veterans Admin PAHCS, Menlo Park Div., Western Blind Rehab Ctr. (124), 795 Willow Road, Bldg T-365, Menlo Park, CA, 94025
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on May 12, 2013