Frank Robert (Bob) Nunes
1931 - 2019
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Frank Robert (Bob) Nunes
May 31, 1931 - November 6, 2019
Pebble Beach
Frank Robert (Bob) Nunes, 88, passed away peacefully on November 6, at his home in Pebble Beach, California, a short distance from the Salinas Valley where he grew up and made his career. A child of Portuguese immigrants, he came from humble beginnings and lived an enviable life. He was an authentic example of the American dream. He was raised on a farm in Chualar, California, and through hard work, family love, and education, he enjoyed personal independence, culminating in a creative and determined vocation in the produce industry. Bob was owner and co-founder, with his brother Tom, of the Nunes Company, one of the most recognized and respected fresh produce companies in the United States.
Bob loved to snow ski in winter and waterski in summer, play tennis and golf. He was at his most relaxed when sitting alone on the end of a pier contemplating the beauty of Lake Tahoe. Intuitive, with a killer instinct, he was his truest self during one of his extended breakfast breaks while produce buyers phoned in eager to buy lettuce. He would leave the office to let demand rise; when he'd return, he'd get his price. He was competitive in all things, but also honest and fair. Throughout his lifetime he sat on many boards and received industry awards.
In high school he ran track and played football, and as an undergraduate in college, he boxed in the ring. He loved to travel and spent many months of his life venturing to far-away lands, bringing back stories of other cultures and people he had met. He was a wanderlust, a romantic, and a gentleman. Mostly, he loved to return to the small-town community where his family and friends lived and worked alongside him. Always, he would visit his mother and father, dropping by their home after work, often with his two children, Bob and Kim. His catholic faith was a mainstay, and helped him through challenging times, when he lost his companion and love, Marie Woerz, and in the final years and days of his life.
From the mid-fifties and to this day, he worked hard and built produce businesses with his beloved brother Tom. Throughout his many successes, he lived by the simple philosophy: "when the cup runs over, spread it around." Continually concerned for the people in his community, his businesses became and remain standard-bearers of ethics and responsibility in the produce industry. He spent his last years doing his best to "help the very young, the very old, the very sick, those who cannot care for themselves, and animals." As a child, he wanted to start a Boys Town for Dogs. Through his support of the SPCA, Peace of Mind Dog Rescue and other endeavors, he nearly did.
Born in 1931 to Thomas and Eva Nunes, Bob was a middle child. He revered his older brother, Tom Nunes, and cared deeply for his little sister, Marilyn Classen, 1937-2007. Bob attended Salinas High School and graduated from Stanford University with a degree in economics. He is survived by his son Bob Jr. and daughter-in-law, Kim, daughter, Kimberly, five grandchildren, a niece, nephews, his brother Tom, many good friends and many good people with whom he worked and deeply respected. He has lived the past fifty years in Pebble Beach, still driving to the office every day. In one of the last times he spoke, he said: "I wish I had spent more time talking to my employees in the hall at the office." He stayed close to his children and grandchildren throughout their lifetimes, imparting wisdom, humor and much love. Always living by his word, he believed, ultimately, that a man's word—his most precious asset—is all he ever really has.
In addition to serving on the board of directors for Produce Packaging Association and Western Growers Association, Bob also served on the boards of Grower-Shipper Vegetable Association, American Institute of Food and Wine, and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation. He served as President of Central California Lettuce Co-op.
In 2007, Bob was recognized for his generous support of both produce and community endeavors as the recipient of the E.E. "Gene" Harden Lifetime Achievement award by the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California. He also received the Hall of Fame Award from the National Steinbeck Center and the Distinguished Trustee Award from the Community Foundation of Monterey County in 2010. His philanthropic outreach was recognized by the Alex de Tocqueville Society of United Way.
Visitation will be held 3:00p.m. to 7:00p.m. Thursday, November 14, 2019 at Struve and Laporte Chapel, 41 W. San Luis Street, Salinas, CA. 93901.
Rosary will be 7:00p.m. Thursday, November 14 2019 at Struve and Laporte Chapel.
Funeral Mass will be held 11:00a.m. Friday, November 15, 2019 at St. Joseph's Church, 1 Railroad Avenue, Spreckels, CA. 93962.
Burial will follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 18200 Damian Way, Salinas, CA. 93907.
Celebration of life following at Corral de Tierra Country Club, 81 Corral de Tierra Road, Salinas, CA. 93908 beginning at 1:00.



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Published in Monterey Herald Obits on Nov. 9, 2019.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
NOV
14
Visitation
03:00 - 07:00 PM
NOV
14
NOV
15
Funeral Mass
11:00 AM
NOV
15
Celebration of Life
01:00 PM
Funeral services provided by
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Memories & Condolences
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14 entries
November 16, 2019
RIP Bob

You were a legend
John Calhoun
November 15, 2019
Tom and Marilyn Cole
November 14, 2019
My deepest sympathy to the whole family especially to Bob Jr. & Kim. I''m so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much Bob for your kindness & generosity. I will never forget you for the rest of my life, you're such a nice guy. May you Rest in Peace.
Rosalina Ventura
November 14, 2019
Bishop Richard Garcia awarding Bob Nunes 2015 Catholic Charities, Opus Christi Ambassador of the year
We are deeply sorry for the loss of Bob. His kindness and generosity left a legacy in our community.
Our prayers and soothing thoughts go out to the family during this difficult time.
Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey
November 14, 2019
Treasured Tribute Wreath
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November 13, 2019
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Angela Di Novella
November 11, 2019
Carole Harwood
November 11, 2019
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Carie Broecker
November 11, 2019
I was so sorry to hear of the passing of my friend.
He was a wonderful man. I share in your grief at our loss. I will never forget all he did for me and my late wife Jo.
Just wanted you to know I feel for you. Losing people you love is the hardest part of life.
Cliff Cracknell
November 10, 2019
I had the pleasure of having lunch with Bob in late Sept. He was a good friend of my Dad, John Bellone when they were Salinas High Cowboys. I knew he was generous, smart and kind, but his smile was amazing. I feel honored to have met him and thank him for all he had done in our community. He was just a wonderful human being.
Kellie Murphy
November 9, 2019
Faithful Blessings Bouquet - VASE INCLUDED
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November 9, 2019
Mr. Nunes was a very kind man. He will be missed in this world!
Karen Sheppard
November 9, 2019
Sam Piffero
November 8, 2019
Carole Harwood
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