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Robert W. McKewen

1929 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
Robert W. McKewen Obituary
McKewen, Robert W. SAN DIEGO-- Bob McKewen was born in the Bronx, NY on May 31, 1929 and passed away at home in San Diego on October 10, 2013. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Barbara, his children Susan (Sam), Marianne, Dave (Caroline), Margaret (Bill), Kathleen, grandchildren Brandon, Lindsey, Megan, Katelyn, Shaun, Bryan, Katherine, Cynthia, and his sister, Carole Diaz. After graduating from Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, NY, he attended the Schillinger House in Boston's Back Bay (which is now the Berklee College of Music). He met his future wife shortly before entering the Army where he auditioned for and became a member of the First Army Band and was sent to Berlin, Germany for a year. After returning and spending one semester at NYU, he moved to California where he and Barbara were wed. He attended Pepperdine and received his Bachelor's degree, teaching credential, and Master's degree in music from San Diego State University. Bob began his teaching career in 1958 at Collier Jr. High School teaching music and history, received his counseling credential and finished his career working with troubled students who benefitted from his calm, gentle nature and sense of humor. He retired from the San Diego Unified School District in 1986, which allowed him to do what he truly loved most, play music. Bob was a phenomenal jazz musician, playing thousands of gigs all over the U.S. and the world with just about every swing, Dixieland, and jazz band in town, including the Bob Crosby Orchestra, the Dixie Hasslers (of which he was an original member for 59 years), the South Market Street Jazz Band, the High Society Jazz Band, and traveled the jazz festival circuit with the Chicago Six. He and the Dixie Hasslers played the San Diego County Fair for 55 summers. A man of many talents, Bob enjoyed backpacking in the Sierras, wood carving and tending to his bonsai. A celebration of his life will be held on November 9, 2013 at the San Diego Musician's Union. Downbeat at 1:00.
Published in U-T San Diego on Oct. 20, 2013
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