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Robert (Bob) Carlitz
Oct. 11, 1922 - Nov. 1, 2012
Bob died peacefully at home in Menlo Park, CA, with his son by his side, three weeks after celebrating his 90th birthday. He lived with Alzheimer's disease for over 10 years, but for most of that time he had a smile on his face and seemed happy, living in the moment. A co-resident of the board-and-care home where he lived since 2008 described Bob as "the heart and soul of this place".
Bob was born in Philadelphia, PA, but happily embraced Bay Area life (and weather) when he was transferred here in 1944 during his Navy service. He met his future wife, Ruth, that year at a San Francisco Jewish Community Center dance, and they were married two years later. They had two children during the Baby Boom and settled in Palo Alto in 1957, where they lived in their Eichler home for more than 50 years. Bob established a very successful accounting practice for physicians and dentists on the Peninsula, and was held in high esteem by clients and colleagues alike.
Bob loved baseball and was a devoted fan of the Philadelphia Phillies growing up. Later, he followed the San Francisco Seals, and then became a faithful Giants' fan. He attended both the first and last Giants' games played at Candlestick Park with his daughter, and loved teaching his children the fine points of the game. He was a traditionalist - he loathed the terms "ribbies" and "Cubbies" and felt the introduction of the designated hitter was a travesty for baseball.
Bob's incredible memory for all things numerical-dates, times, statistics-was legendary, as was his knowledge of trivia. He possessed a wealth of information about history, sports, celebrities and other famous figures, and loved sharing stories with anyone and everyone. He had a gregarious personality and was in his element talking and schmoozing for hours.
Bob was a principled man with strong beliefs, and was passionate about the causes he supported. He prided himself on being a staunch Democrat and defender of Israel. He was also a very caring, sensitive man who felt it was important to "do the right thing" and to help those less fortunate, and he could be generous to a fault.
Bob had a profound love and concern for animals and had many beloved pets during his lifetime. He volunteered as a dog-walker for Pets in Need in Redwood City after he retired, and he never turned down requests for charitable donations to organizations dedicated to animal welfare.
Bob was deeply loved and will be dearly missed by his daughter, Elaine (John); his son, Steve (Carol); his sisters, Roberta and Hemmy; his brother-in-law, Harold; and several loyal, long-term friends. He was predeceased by Ruth after 61 years of marriage, and by his brother, Joe.
Funeral services were held at Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma, where Bob was laid to rest on November 4, 2012. The family requests that any memorial donations be made to Pets in Need, 871 Fifth Avenue, Redwood City, CA 94063, or www.petsinneed.org.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Nov. 18, 2012