Robert "Bob" Wade

1922 – 2013

Robert ("Bob") Wade, a longtime Newhall, CA resident, age 91, passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 1, 2013 surrounded by his loving family. He was born in 1922 in Bowling Green, OH, spending his childhood there, and with his aunts in Chicago. He came to the Antelope Valley in California in 1938 on his own, working various jobs while attending high school and college. One early job was repairing coin-operated vending machines; another was trimming wires used in the construction of Lockheed P-38 fighter planes. His love of aviation began in his youth.

He joined the Army Air Corps in 1943, trained as a pilot, and flew the C-47 and other aircraft in Europe and North Africa during and after the war. He spoke fondly of his adventures flying the "Gooney Bird" - all the places he saw and people he met. Bob was a profoundly social gentleman, and when meeting someone new he could learn their life story in their first minutes together. He loved people, and everyone liked him. He met his wife Sylvia in Germany, bringing her to the U.S. in 1954. He retired from the Air Force in 1965, after twenty-plus years of service, with the rank of Major. His subsequent career included management positions with the California State Disaster Office and Western Mortgage.

The family moved to Newhall in 1970, where Bob was the first purchasing manager for the under-construction Magic Mountain. The whole family - Bob, Sylvia, and their two children, Marc and Linda - worked at "the Mountain" in those early years. Bob and Sylvia's names can be found on the commemorative plaque in the museum atop the Sky Tower.

An avid golfer (he met Sylvia one day on the way to the military course in her hometown of Wiesbaden) Bob played twice a week well into his eighties, at "Big V" and later at Vista Valencia. Enjoying the social atmosphere, Bob learned bartending and worked at the Lyon Room for a time. Partnering with two colleagues, they purchased a bar of their own, the Mona Lisa, across the street from the Busch brewery in Van Nuys. After many successful years in business, he sold his interest and retired.

Bob proudly served as a Director of the Newhall County Water District for twenty years, relishing the challenge of finding solutions to problems of all sorts. In the 1978 election to form a new Santa Clarita County (ultimately unsuccessful despite local approval), Bob ran for Supervisor.

Sylvia passed away in 1997. Bob is survived by his daughter Linda Harbeson and husband (and Bob's "second son") Steve Harbeson; his son Marc Wade and wife Toni Kurman Wade; his four beloved granddaughters: Leslie Wade, Michelle Wade Byrd, Stefanie Harbeson Oberhansley, and Victoria Harbeson.

The family is grateful to the staffs at Sunrise at Sterling Canyon Senior Living and Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital for their care and attention in his later years. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the (

The Signal, December 4, 2013
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Published on December 4 to December 10, 2013