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Robert Raffaele Catalano


12/29/1939 - 10/24/2014 Obituary
Robert Raffaele Catalano Obituary
Nothing mattered more to Robert Raffaele Catalano than his relationships. Whenever meeting him (regardless if it was the first or hundredth time), you were greeted by a warm, Italian kiss (yes, even men), a direct look in the eyes and a heartfelt greeting. While Robert was his given name, everyone was instructed to call him "Bob" (even kids). This was Bob in a nutshell; a warm soul with no pretenses. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.
Bob had a long and fulfilling life and will be dearly missed. He passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, October 24th. Bob was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend, and was born in Bakersfield on December 29, 1939. Bob loved his hometown of Bakersfield and spoke fondly of it whenever given the chance. He was the eldest child of Priscilla and Oscar Catalano and married to Polly Ann.
Bob's family meant everything to him and he never let them forget how proud he was of them. In addition to his wife, Polly, Bob is survived by his children and their spouses: Stephen and Amy Catalano, Cristina and Kurk Catalano-Dockins, Michelle and Art Hunter and Kassandra Teichner; grandchildren: Ella, Nate, Lily, Jake, Jennifer and John; and sisters: Angela Collier and Priscilla Goggins.
Bob was a proud member of the 1957 graduating class of Garces High School. He went on to graduate from the University of Oregon in 1961 where he cemented his love of the Ducks and met his first wife, Kathy Keenan. Next, Bob attended Hastings College of Law in San Francisco where he was a part of the distinguished law fraternity Phi Delta Phi, and became faithful to the SF 49ers. After graduating with his Juris Doctor degree in 1965, he started his long career in law. Bob first practiced law in the Bay Area from 1965-1992 and then moved back to Bakersfield to finish his career from 1992-2010, most of which was in private practice. His love of the law extended to philanthropy when he volunteered with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Even when his career was over, he was always game for a battle of wits and logic.
From the start of his life, Bob had a fondness and acumen for riding and caring for horses. As a youth, he raised horses in Bakersfield, which developed into a lifelong devotion. Whenever he spoke about his horses, he had a sparkle in his eye, even calling them his "kids". Bob was a longtime member of the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County and in 1991 he proudly served as its Captain. Bob shared his love of horses and the therapy they provide by volunteering with MARE (Mastering Abilities Riding Equines) right here in Kern County.
His perfect day would consist of a long horseback ride on his favorite mare, Cut 'N Heel, in the foothills, watching the San Francisco 49ers trounce their archrivals, and having a barbeque feast (just wings) with his family, which would include a heated political debate.
He will be missed dearly, but his memory, love and influence will be survived by everyone he touched.
Services will be held on Thursday, November 6, 2014, 2pm, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2216 17th St. Bakersfield, Ca.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Nov. 4, 2014
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