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Greenlawn Funeral Homes • Cremations • Cemeteries - Northeast
3700 Northeast
Bakersfield, CA 93305
(661) 324-9701

WALTER ROBERT CLOUD


1923 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
W. Robert Cloud was born in Malvern, Arkansas to Walter Robert Cloud Sr. and Mattie Vinson, June 29, 1923. He had one sister, Norma Lea Cloud Stillman. He died July 30 at 2:30 am in Bakersfield. He was 93 years old.
Robert (Bob) came to California when he was in the -4th grade. His father worked for the Rock Island Railroad, so the family came by train; those were Dust Bowl and Depression years. Norma and Robert started at Richland School in Shafter, and the family did farm work. To add to the family income, Robert's father taught himself to fiddle and also to play other instruments. So, on weekends he fiddled in different camps. Norma (who was 4 years older) and Robert danced and were sometimes the entertainment! Robert loved to dance and was a very good dancer. When he became a student at Shafter High School he found out that he did not have to ask girls for a date. He said with a smile, "they asked me!"
At Shafter High he was also very proud of his perfect attendance. His sister kept a record of his accomplishments; he was president of six organizations (including the student body and CSF) and vice president of two. He was their top basketball player and was proud to be chosen the MVP and Team Captain. He was not very tall, but he was fast and furious when he played. He was intelligent, interesting, funny, and was interested in almost everything. He was also an excellent ping-pong player but had a hard time finding opponents, especially as he aged.
While he was in high school, every day started at 7 a.m. at Shafter Drug Store, putting merchandise on the shelves and cleaning windows. Everyday after school he was back to clean, to do whatever had to be done until 7 p.m.
Robert wanted to be a writer, a reporter, a journalist. He was fascinated by the power of words. He read voraciously. He taped all the programs that he could not watch on T.V. He still watched T.V. incessantly at night, and also all the programs that he had taped. He did this all of his adult life.
However, after Shafter High School, he received a half scholarship to the USC College of Pharmacy. The other half was paid by his family and himself. He worked on campus, in the cafeteria, also as a "soda jerk," and especially, in the office of the Dean of the College of Pharmacy. Robert was president of the College of Pharmacy. In 1945, he received the Horton and Converse Award for Outstanding Achievement in the practice of prescription compounding.
When he graduated, the Dean of the College of Pharmacy offered him a job in his professional pharmacy. Dr. Alvah Hall was responsible for getting recognition and availability of a doctor's degree in Pharmacy at USC, and as President of the California State Board, was the epitome of professionalism in the field of pharmacy. They remained friends for years; Robert was proud to be associated with him.
Eventually Robert owned his own pharmacy for several years. He found it to be a "prison"; also he was held at gunpoint twice by individuals seeking drugs. So, he sold the store and returned to Shafter where he worked at Shafter Drug Store for 20 years. He also worked at Janzen Drug Store in Wasco. The last nine years of his career were spent managing the pharmacy in the Student Health center at Cal State University in Bakersfield. He really loved working in a student environment. When he retired, in 1991, he realized that "nostalgia is not what it used to be," and as Napoleon once said "Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever."
Robert was married for 55 years to Yvette, a French Basque, semi-nomadic, UCLA Bruin (MLS, '65). She dragged him to a lot of exotic and not so exotic places. He loved cruises. Robert was very proud of his two children. His son, Dr. John Cloud (wife Debbie), also a graduate of the USC College of Pharmacy, is a pharmacist at St. Luke's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. His daughter, Dr. Monique Boudreaux, despite her father's protests, graduated from UCLA (like her mother), then shut him up by going to Harvard. She is a Professor of Psychology specializing in Forensics in Louisiana.
Robert has four grandchildren, Elizabeth Lenahan (Brad), Nicholas Cloud (Jasmine), Alexander and Sophie Boudreaux, and one great-grandchild, Marina Cloud. Robert was a member of the Writers of Kern and enjoyed his affiliation with them.
The family would like to thank the women at The Park for all their help: Cathy, Juanita, Dana, Mary, Frances, Verda and Joan. Also, the family appreciates and thanks Robert's nurses, Kim and Julie.
A service for Robert will be held at Greenlawn Memorial Park, 3700 River Blvd., Bakersfield, California, 93305, in the Chapel, Saturday, October 1, 2016, at 10:00 am.
Published in Bakersfield Californian from Sept. 26 to Sept. 29, 2016
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