Carmel-by-the-Sea – Robert "Bob" Kohn, 92, passed away peacefully at his home on April 23 from heart|
Rather than relaxing in retirement, Bob took community service very seriously. He was inspired by Pierre Delfausse and the late Stanley Page to volunteer at CHOMP. Years later, he was honored by CHOMP CEO Dr. Packer for his 5,000 hours of volunteering at the hospital. As a field representative for the American Red Cross nationwide, he was sent to help with recovery efforts of the hurricane in Hawaii, the flood in St. Louis and the earthquake in Southern California. For 24 years, Bob was a precinct poll worker/inspector for Carmel elections, where his loyal team of Darlene, Jonnie, Karen and Diane were always the first in the county to report election results. Mayor Ken White appointed Bob to the Forest and Beach Commission, where he served three four-year terms, with a stint as chair. For 12 years, he was an elected director of the Carmel Area Waste Water District, including serving as chair, and greatly enjoyed working with the board, staff and employees. The Carmel Residents Association honored him for his years of volunteer service, naming him the 1995 Citizen of the Year.
Bob was a member of many environmental groups, including the Big Sur Land Trust and the Sierra Club. He loved the forest, the ocean, the rivers and the hills of this magnificent county. Bob was a modest, kind man with a droll, wry sense of humor. A compassionate person, he always believed in giving to the less fortunate.
Bob retired as co-owner of a small luggage manufacturing company in 1976 and came to the Monterey Peninsula in 1978 when he and Barbara Livingston built a house in the upper Carmel Valley. They moved to Carmel in 1987 to a lovely old home on San Carlos Street. Bob indoctrinated Barbara into his love for non-luxury adventure travel and together they explored many fascinating parts of the U.S. and the world.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Bob graduated from Hollywood High. With his school buddy, Bob Zilz, he spent happy years organizing younger boys into after-school basketball and volleyball teams. In 1942, Bob earned his B.S. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where he lettered in handball.
The day he graduated, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Army. A 2nd Lieutenant, he served in Europe with a combat infantry rifle company, receiving a battlefield promotion to company commander and the rank of Captain. Following victory in Europe, Bob was en route with his division to invade Japan when his troop ship was diverted to the Philippines after the Japanese surrendered. He was discharged in 1946. Bob declined a personal request in 1947 to train Israeli infantry troops who would defend the country when it was given statehood. In 1950, he was called back to serve in the Korean War. Bob was proud of his military experience and many medals, particularly the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge, but only talked about it with friends who were seriously interested in knowing more about World War II. Also, he maintained a close connection with retired Judge Bill Huber, who was Bob's Lieutenant during the war.
After his military service, Bob married Ida, the mother of his three children. He was pre-deceased by Ida and his son, Kenneth. He is survived by his son, Eugene (Linda); widowed daughter-in-law, Esperanza; daughter, Karen (Jim Weir); grandsons, Aaron, Evan, Jason and Jeffrey; his wife, Barbara and her family, Michael (Laurie Foster), Brian (Elaine) and grandchildren, Shayla, Ryan, Zoe, Rory and Alix.
Bob loved his friends! Boris, Paul, Howard, Dick, Roy and Joe were his High Sierra hiking and poker buddies for over a half a century. The Kou family, Vicky, Jonathan, Megan and Henry, and his longtime pals, Bob and Nora Zilz and Boris and Marilyn Wolper meant the world to him. Also bringing him joy were his lunchtime pals, Greg, Gunnar, Mark and Margi, as well as the countless women and men whom he charmed over the years. He also loved the home he shared with Barbara, especially the beautiful gardens; his dog, Buddy and his cat, Callie. His family thanks Loretta, Judy, Carny, Kira, Bonny, John, Nora, Robbie, Suzanne and Linda for their support of Bob during his illness.
The family is also deeply grateful to the many wonderful men and women of the Hospice of the Central Coast, to his devoted, extraordinary caregiver, Christine, and to Drs. Jill Tiongco and Harry Jang for their professional, compassionate and loving care of Bob.
A small gathering of friends and family will take place at Barbara and Bob's home, "Green Gardens," sometime in the summer. Donations in Bob's memory would be gratefully accepted by Dorothy's Kitchen, P.O. Box 2027, Salinas, CA 93902; Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, 316 N. Main St., Salinas, CA 93901; or Hospice of the Central Coast, 2 Upper Ragsdale Drive, Monterey, CA 93940. To sign Bob's online guest book and leave messages for his family, please visit www.thepaulmortuary.com.
Published in The Monterey Herald on May 5, 2013