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Robert Duarte

1935 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Robert Duarte Obituary
Robert Duarte
August 2, 1935 - March 4, 2017
Bob passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, March 4, 2017 after a long battle with COPD brought on by a car accident in 2003 that severely injured his lungs.
Bob was born in Oakland, CA to Mary Ann Duarte. He was raised in Martinez, CA and moved to Concord where he attended Mt. Diablo High School. He was drafted by the United States Army in 1958 and was stationed in Korea. Shortly after being discharged from the Army he joined the National Guard.
Bob was an extremely talented man. He could repair or build anything and was a mentor to many. His first big project was building a beautiful Hemi Powered ski boat that was fast and loud! His family and friends spent many summer vacations at Lake Camanche water skiing and camping.
Bob began his career working for Coast Apparatus building fire trucks. In 1966, he carried his love of fire trucks further and became a firefighter with the San Ramon Valley Fire Department where he retired on March 31, 1996. He loved being a firefighter and the brotherhood of the job. They were his second family then, and always. In addition to being a fireman, his passion was cars, mainly fast cars (and boats)! He was known to be tinkering on the fire trucks now and then and the crew knew to hang on when he was at the helm.
His passion for speed and cars drove him to build racecars, mainly those for the salt. Salt Racer Bob loved the Flats in Utah where he spent many years racing at Bonneville. In 2000, Bob, so helpful to many, finally had his wish come true as he entered the 200 MPH Club with his A/GMR Roadster hitting 241.182 MPH breaking the 234.276 MPH record. Two days later, he took his record and brought it to 248.510 MPH! A new world record for his class of racing and a dream fulfilled! But, he didn't stop there. After adding a blower to his Roadster, he went on to set another record for A/BGMR class at 254.508 MPH! "WOW"
Bob was truly an amazing man. He was a great father, grandfather, friend, and a true patriot. He had a great life and he would be the first to tell you. Bob is survived by the mother of his children, Lynn Duarte, his 4 children - Cindy (Greg), Rob (Tanya), Greg, and John – 8 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, his brother, Jerry (Pat), their children and many cousins. Bob will be deeply missed by all who knew him but his spirit and drive will forever be alive within all of us. Per his request, a celebration of life will be held at a later date.

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Published in East Bay Times on Mar. 12, 2017
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