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Grant Miller John Cox Mortuary
2850 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA 94601
(510) 451-6434

Robert Van Tassel

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ROBERT VAN TASSEL July 14, 1943 - April 13, 2005 Bob Van Tassel's ready smile and the twinkle in his eye will be deeply missed by his family, friends and perhaps by some who never knew his name. He was the fellow who smiled and waved to every baby, told jokes to the butchers, teased the gals at Longs and made friends wherever he went. His death came after a valiant year-long struggle with cancer. His wife, Natalie, son Peter, mother Hazel, brother Bruce (Pam) and many relatives mourn his loss. He was preceded into the next world by his son Conor and father Douglas. Bob was raised in Yonkers, N.Y., where he attended Sacred Heart Schools. He has many caring friends and family members in the Yonkers area and is still remembered as a basketball star. He earned a B.A. from Iona College before being drafted and sent to Vietnam. Upon his return, he did graduate work at Fairfield University and at California State University, Hayward. Bob always believed that each of us has an obligation to give back to our communities and he demonstrated this formally and informally on a daily basis. As a a member of the Board of Directors of Alameda County Special Olympics, he served as the Board President when it was an all-volunteer organization. His work included coaching, refereeing games, organizing tournaments and fund raising. The development of PediatriCare, to assist terminally ill children and their families, was a cherished goal after the death of his son Conor. Later Bob helped facilitate the merger of PediatriCare (now known as Circle of Care) with the East Bay Agency for Children, and continued to serve on the Board of Directors of EBAC for several years. More recently Bob became a tutor for the adult literacy program Second Start. Bob supported his son Peter by helping with a range of activities including North Oakland Little League and Boy Scouts and fund raising for Pomona College. Bob was a great reader, and his library includes books on philosophy, religion, sociology and linguistics, as well as an outstanding collection of books about golf. He was able to recommend a book for nearly any occasion or taste, thanks both to his excellent memory and his tremendous understanding of others. His family asks that in order to honor Bob, well wishers donate to their favorite children's charity in lieu of sending flowers. Graveside services will be held at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland Saturday, April 23, at 2:30. We will celebrate Bob's life at the Lake Merritt Sailboat House Sunday, April 24, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. GRANT MILLER-JOHN COX MORTUARY (510) 451-6434
Published in Inside Bay Area on Apr. 16, 2005
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