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Robert Genrich (Bob) Tank


1920 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Robert Genrich (Bob) Tank Obituary
ROBERT (BOB) GENRICH TANK Age 95, passed away at home in Riverside, CA on January 30, 2016, with his wife of 69 years, Bernice, at his side. Born on Nov. 21, 1920, in Merrill, Wis., he moved his family west in 1956 in search of a better life in the Golden State, and he found it in Riverside. He was first and foremost a family man, a doting father and grandfather, the best Santa Claus ever. But his devotion to community service was also legendary. Bob was an Eagle Scout, a Cub Scout den leader and Boy Scout troop leader, and was honored just last year with the BSA's Order of the Arrow Centurion Award. He served for many years on the City of Riverside's Environmental Protection Commission and the Mayor's Council on Aging. He and Bernice were repeatedly honored over the years for their record-breaking volunteer service as master gardeners at the UCR Botanic Gardens. As a young man he was active in the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce. Bob was an accomplished musician (vocal, piano, brass), and his rendition of "Does Your Mother Know You're Out, Cecelia" will never be outdone. And then there was that indomitable sense of humor; he was the king of the one-liner and the pun, and his audience was all-inclusive, from friends and family to restaurant waiters to the nurse taking a blood sample during his last days of life. Before retirement, he worked at Kaiser Steel Fontana for 30 years and also taught economics and business administration at Chaffey Community College, San Bernardino Valley College, and Riverside City College. He was also proud to have served in the U.S. Army on Iwo Jima during World War II. No report on his life would be complete without including his lifelong devotion to his German Shepherds and his support of the breed. He and Bernice said goodbye to their last shepherd, Oakley, only last year. And their love of the breed spawned a family dynasty of German shepherd enthusiasts. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sister Nathalie Tank of Merrill, Wis.; daughter Cynthia (Michael) of Ashland, Ore.; son Kenneth (Kathy) of Quail Valley, Calif.; and son William (Kim) of Cave Creek, Ariz.; six grandchildren and a great grandchild. Friends and family are invited to a memorial celebration of his life at 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 14, at the UCR Botanic Gardens. He will be interred at Riverside National Cemetery. Bob would not want you to send flowers; instead, he'd rather you make a donation to the UCR Botanic Gardens (http://gardens.ucr.edu/involved.html) or Valparaiso University (http://www.valpo.edu/). One of the last things Bob ate was a grapefruit from his garden-a testament not only to his love of the Earth's bounty but his lifelong spirit of self-reliance.
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Published in Press-Enterprise on Feb. 5, 2016
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