Robert Joel Bianchi
April 30, 1938 - September 17, 2019
Robert Joel Bianchi, 81, died peacefully Tuesday, September 17, 2019. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years Joann, three devoted children Teddy (Paula), Bobby (Lena) and Carla (Tony) Sylvestri and adoring grandchildren who were proud to call him Nonno: Marina, Anthony, Santino, Alexandria, Samson, John, Thomas, Tatyana, Ziggy, Aaliyah and Alyssah. He leaves behind his aunt Alice Del Sarto and his brother Edward Bianchi. He will be dearly missed by his niece, nephews, in-laws, cousins and many close friends.
Born and raised in San Francisco, the son of Carl and Amelia Bianchi, Bob grew up in the Marina District. After serving in the Navy in his early years, Bob worked for the Sunset Scavengers and later for Devincenzi Trucking.
Shortly after moving to San Mateo in 1975, Bob started Bianchi Railroad Company by purchasing the train at Central Park in San Mateo which he operated for 37 years. Bob was an entrepreneur at heart. By retirement, he had multiple train rides, Christmas tree lots, pumpkin patches, and a Lionel train store. He was happy to employ many local friends, family and neighbors in his family business. Most importantly, he brought lots of joy to children who grew up riding Bianchi trains. Bob was an avid train collector as well. He built multiple train layouts almost anywhere his imagination would allow.
In addition, he loved boating and big band music. His love of music inspired him to produce and host musical events featuring his longtime favorite drummer and cherished friend, Louis Bellson. He enjoyed his boat and home at the Delta for years.
Bob was honored to be a Knight of Saint Francis of Assisi watching over the Porziuncola Nuova in North Beach. He traveled to Assisi, Italy with the Knights in 2005. He was a longtime member of the San Mateo Elks Club and he was a devoted usher at St. Matthew Catholic Church for many years.
Bob left a lasting impression with everyone he met. He was truly "one of a kind" with his loud and boisterous personality; however, it was his loving and generous soul that spoke the loudest in the community. He will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Friends and family are invited to the visitation on Monday, September 23rd at 6pm at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 1 Notre Dame Ave., San Mateo with a Vigil Service at 7pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Matthew Catholic Church on Tuesday, September 24th at 10am.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Matthew Catholic Church, Mission Hospice or a charity of your choice