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Robert and Nellie Rylander
September 25, 1921 - January 4, 2013
January 23, 1922 - December 21, 2004
On Jan 4, 2013 Robert and Nellie Rylander were reunited. Robert passed peacefully at his La Posada home in Santa Cruz, CA. He joined his high school sweetheart and wife of over 60 years, Nellie who preceded him in 2004.
Born and raised in San Jose, they married there in 1942. Soon after, Robert left the family business, Rylander's Tire Service in San Jose, to serve in
. Nellie travelled to Chicago and worked as a bookkeeper, while Robert trained to be a radio mechanic in North Africa. After the war Robert returned to the tire shop and they started a family. He and Nellie taught their sons the tire business and how to build, cook and garden. The family often camped and rode mini-bikes together. When their sons left home, Robert retired early, he and Nellie moved from Los Gatos to Aptos, and they took their RV on the road. In their travels, they pursued thrift shop treasures, visits with family and the communal activities of RV camping. They then became "rain birds," buying both Oregon and California homes to redo and landscape.
After Nellie passed, Robert committed himself to the activities at his new La Posada home - showing new residents around, setting up for the Sunday church service, helping others in need of a handyman, and visiting and playing his washboard for those in nursing care. He became known as Bicycle Bob to all who saw him riding around the neighborhood until age 90.
Robert and Nellie are survived by their sons: Randy (Joyce), Reed (Debra) and Roger; 4 grandchildren: Jacob (Jeanette), Sage (Danielle), Autumn and Ben (fiancee Katie); 7 great-grandchildren; and Nellie's sister Doris. Robert's brother Don predeceased him. A celebration of their lives will be held on Sat, Feb 23 at 11am at Santa Cruz Bible Church in the Adult Center at 440 Frederick St. Donations in their honor may be made to Hospice of Santa Cruz County (
) and Cystic Fibrosis (
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Feb. 17, 2013
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"Randy and Reed, I remember your parents (and you) quite clearly from the early 1950s when you and I..."
- Glenn Brownton
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