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Robert Brigante

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Robert Brigante Obituary
Dr. Robert F. Brigante Bob passed away after a brief illness on May 21, 2011. Pre-deceased by beloved son Ross, he is survived by his wife of 37 years, Linda Coda, and their son Nicko (Johanna); and additionally by two children from his first marriage to Marjorie Burrows: Bebe (Dan Haut) and Lindy Bixby (Robert); five grand children and three great grand daughters; and by three step children from his union with Dorae Diamond: Will, Wendy (Michael Kelley) and Nancy (David Hankin), and their four children. He was a great friend to his father-in-law Leo; and 'Uncle Bob' to Linda's large extended family. Born in Santa Ana on November 28, 1923, the only child of Frank and Pearl Brigante, Bob learned his love of dentistry assisting in his dad's dental lab. During WWII, the Navy sent him to UCSF School of Dentistry and thus began his life-long association with UCSF. In 1947, after completing the accelerated V12 program, Bob was commissioned Lt. Junior Grade, stationed in San Diego, and introduced to The Pacific Coast Society of Prosthodontists, an organization very important to his professional career in prosthetic dentistry. He returned to the Bay Area in 1952 to join the UCSF faculty, fulfilling Dean Willard Fleming's prophesy on his graduation: "you will be back". He also began a private practice in Berkeley partnering with his friend and colleague Dr. Bob Ware with valuable assistance from Diane Proto. Bob was a popular professor who taught prosthetic dentistry to thousands of students. As Assistant Dean for Student Affairs under Dean Ben Pavone in the 70's, Bob's proudest accomplishment was his work helping create the Minority Program which actively recruited students from groups then under represented in dentistry. One of his happiest times was his six month sabbatical in Florence in 1979 where he studied the aging process as depicted by the great Renaissance artists. After retiring from UCSF in 1993, Bob continued as an active professor emeritus in the post graduation Prosthetics program. In 2000 he retired from his private practice, and sold his Berkeley office but still carefully maintained the office garden, a hobby he loved. He had many interests outside of his work, and one of Bob's most enduring passions was sailing. He was a founding member of the South Beach Yacht Club and, with his partner Chuck Eliason, spent many happy hours on the San Francisco Bay and waters beyond. He also loved traveling, and with his wife, Linda, family and friends, boated through the many canals of England and France, traveled frequently to his beloved Italy and explored many other parts of the world. He loved touring California's back roads, and staying for many wonderful weeks at his condo in Coronado. But he was happiest at home in San Francisco where he could be found most afternoons walking his devoted dog, Arena, around the tennis courts of Golden Gate Park. This kind and gentle man will be missed by all who knew him. A private memorial will be held in Santa Ana on June 24, 2011 and a celebration of Bob's life will be held at a date to be announced.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on June 12, 2011
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