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Robert James (Bob) Westbury

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Robert James (Bob) Westbury Obituary

Robert James Westbury (known as "Bob" or "Bobby" to those who were fortunate to know him), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, passed away peacefully with loved ones by his side at his home in Marysville, California on Sunday, April 26th at the age of 66.

Bob was born on August 31, 1948 to Robert Edmund Westbury and Ione Westbury (Delong), and was the oldest of seven children. Later in life, he was blessed with step-parents who loved him dearly, as if he were their own, Paul Delong and Betty Jean Westbury. He was the pride and joy of his entire family, and added so much love to their lives.

Bob spent nearly half of his life in Marysville, CA, where he grew up and went to school from grammar school through high school at Marysville High School. He served in the Navy for 4 years, and was so proud to have been a Veteran, and found it to be a great honor to have had the opportunity to serve his country.

At the age of 33, Bob moved to Hawaii, starting on the island of Oahu and later moving to the island of Kauai, where he achieved great success working for Aloha Lumber as a buyer and sales for 25 years before retiring three years ago and moving to the "Big Island" in Volcano, HI. During his time in Hawaii, he shared nearly 19 years of his life with his girlfriend, Cashmire ("Cash") Lopez and developed a brother-like bond with Dan Briggs during their 25 years of working together at Aloha Lumber. After 33 years of living in Hawaii, he decided to move back "home" to Marysville, CA six months ago so he could enjoy his retired life with his family and reconcile with his ex-wife and love of 40 years, Donna Wahlberg.

Bob enjoyed traveling and loved the relaxed pace of life in Hawaii. He was very active and enjoyed many hobbies. Bob belonged to Canoe Club, UltraLight club, played racquetball, and sailed many times between the Hawaiian Islands. He loved music, especially from the 50's, and dancing, which was definitely a trait he got from his mother, as she always had music playing and would stop what she was doing to grab the hand of who was nearby, including Bob, and danced.

Bob was a humble man who never gave himself the credit he deserved for all he contributed to make this world a better place. He was generous, reliable, compassionate, loving, honest, fair, and so much fun. He was a great support to those in his life, and found peace in knowing when friends and family were doing well. Upon his unexpected move from Hawaii to Marysville, in mid-October, 2014, Donna recognized he wasn't himself and had a hard time communicating what he wanted to say. So she took him to have checked out. The doctors at the Veterans' Hospital at Travis AFB discovered an inoperable brain tumor, which came with a grim prognosis. Not to allow the tumor to rob him of the happiness he had found in coming home to his family, everyone jumped on board to add life to his days, even if they were unable to add days to his life. He and Donna enjoyed creating a home to spend the rest of their lives together. They prayed it would be another 33 years but he was at peace knowing he could pass any time. Because Bob was at peace with whichever direction his course was meant to go. He remained optimistic over the past six months, and he continued to make plans for various activities and events all the way up to the day he passed, which was very suddenly and unexpectedly. His tumor was not progressing the way the doctors had expected, and he had beat the odds in many areas. Because he was doing so well, he was able to remain in his lakefront home, which he considered to be "the most beautiful place he had ever lived". He did not have to suffer from the debilitating symptoms which are expected with Glioblastoma brain tumors and neither he nor his family had to suffer the anxiety of him feeling abandoned if he had reached a point of needing to be moved out of his own home and placed in a skilled nursing facility. He did not have to experience any fear of passing because of his faith in God and he already had a glimpse of heaven and because he was so excited about reuniting with his family and about returning to his roots in Marysville. Bob was able to be in the comforter to the family who loved him. It was very important to Bob that those who cared about him were not worried about him, and he wanted them to know he was at peace. His friends and family are grateful that he was able to live a great quality of life, including taking hour long walks around Ellis Lake, all the way up until the last minutes that led to his peaceful passing.

Bob is survived by and will be deeply missed by his soulmate Donna Wahlberg of Marysville, CA, who he had intended to remarry this summer; daughter, Stacy Varni (husband Tony) of Fresno, CA; son, Kory Westbury (wife Maria) of Clovis, CA; daughter, Vanessa Webb (husband Tony) of Yuba City, CA; seven grandchildren, Macy, Jenesa, & Paige Varni, Karissa & Ethan Westbury, and Mareena & Anthony Webb; step-mother, Betty Jean Westbury of Coon Rapids, MN; six siblings, Robert D. Westbury, Randy W. Westbury, and Rae Lynn Herbster of Minnesota, and Shawn Delong, Robyn Delong, and Tonya Delong-Harris who all reside in the Yuba-Sutter area; his "brother-by-bond", Dan Briggs of Kauai; his longtime companion, Cash Lopez of Hilo, Hawaii and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his mother, Ione Delong, father Robert E Westbury, and step-father Paul Delong.

Friends and family will be gathering to celebrate Bob's life and share memories on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the island on Ellis Lake on 14th and C St. in Marysville, CA, right across from the main entrance to the Gold Sox Baseball Field. That island was one of his favorite places to see as he enjoyed his view from his patio. If you would like further information, please contact Lakeside Colonial Chapel (530) 749-9277.

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Published in Appeal Democrat from Apr. 30 to May 1, 2015
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