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Robert Walter Tyler

1928 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Robert Walter Tyler Obituary
Robert Walter Tyler
April 1, 1928 - January 9, 2014
A Resident of Scotts Valley
Long-time resident of the Santa Cruz area, Robert Tyler passed away peacefully on January 9 in his Scotts Valley, California home. Bob was born on April 1, 1928 in Los Angeles, the only child of Homer Tyler and Mary Mullen. After attending Menlo School in Atherton, CA, Bob spent his college years at Stanford University, UCLA and UC Berkeley. He also served in the U.S. Army for almost three years from early 1947 to late 1949. Bob spent most of his career as a landscape contractor in Palo Alto and Aptos, CA. He also started a bamboo growing and supply business in Aptos, which led to his widely used nickname "Bamboo Bob" around Santa Cruz. Bob was a self-taught artist, working with driftwood, stones and a variety of other natural materials. He was an avid fisherman and loved tending his flower and cactus garden.
Bob and Joan Safarik were married in 1968. They divorced in the 1970s, but Joan's three sons, Wendell, Eric and Steven Birkhofer remained his close stepchildren until his death. He is survived by them and his five stepgrandchildren, Wiley, Elise, Sarah, Alex and Isabella Birkhofer.
Friends are welcome to attend a celebration of Bob's life at Vista del Lago community clubhouse on Saturday, February 1 at 2 p.m. at 444 Whispering Pines Dr., Scotts Valley, CA 95066. If you wish to contact the family, please e-mail Eric Birkhofer at
In lieu of flowers, Bob's stepchildren suggest donations be made in his honor to The Worldwide Wildlife Fund ( If you would like to send your condolences to Bob's family, share your memories, post photos or light a candle, please visit


Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Jan. 24, 2014
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