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Robert Schoeneman Hall

Robert Schoeneman Hall, a fourth-generation Californian and long-time resident of Santa Cruz passed away July 27, 2009 at the age of 86. Born in San Francisco, eldest son to M.C. and Mayre R. Hall, Bob also lived in Carmel and Watsonville. He attended Mintie White School in Watsonville and Santa Cruz High. He completed high school at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell.

He was a member of Boy Scout troops in Carmel and at Wilder Ranch, and a regular visitor to Yosemite's Camp Curry and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, both sites where his father served as publicity director. Bob traveled with his family to many State and National Parks and passed a love of adventure and the natural world on to his children.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bob interrupted his studies at San Jose State when he volunteered for the U.S. Army infantry. He spent World War II under General McArthur in the Philippines and Japan. At the end of his service he returned to San Jose State College and later joined father and brother Charles at M.C. Hall and Sons Realty in Santa Cruz's Compass Rose building on Pacific Ave. In 1952 he married and had four children with Marion Samuels.

He remained very active in local and national political organizations including Jr. Chamber of Commerce, Miss California Pageant, the United Nations, UNICEF and the Democratic Party. He founded the first local UN chapter. Bob stayed current with events and issues: international peace, civil rights, free speech and social justice. He was active in the Vietnam Friendship Village Project; a regular participant at the Free and later Penny Universities; and City Council and Board of Supervisors' meetings. He served as adjutant/historian at the Bill Motto VFW Post.

Bob Hall was a long-time familiar figure on the Pacific Garden Mall, inspiring local columnist Bruce Bratton to dub him a "walking icon." In recent years he lived at La Posada on Frederick Street, enjoying the company of long-time acquaintances and new friends. Bob enjoyed reading, studying local and political history and writing essays and letters, poetry, and prose vignettes of his family history. He was a regular contributor of Letters to the Editor to the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Robert Hall will be missed by his friends and family. He is survived by three children and four grandchildren: his daughter Rebecca and her daughter Rhiannon of Santa Cruz; son Roger, wife Mary and their three children Isabel, Jack and Ryley of Los Osos; and youngest daughter Holly of Portland, Oregon. His ex-wife Marion, younger brother Charles, and middle daughter Robin preceded him in death.

Memorial to Celebrate Bob's Life

The VFW Bill Motto Post is hosting a Memorial to Celebrate Bob's Life on Sunday, September 13th at 6:00 PM, at the Veterans Memorial Building, Room 23 The "Bill Motto Room", in downtown Santa Cruz. Family members, friends and community members are encouraged to attend. The address of the Veterans Memorial Building aka: "The Vet's Hall" is: 846 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Near the Post Office.

If you would like to view or share comments or pictures on Bob Hall's Memorial FaceBook Profile, you can be "Invited" as a "Friend" of Bob Hall, via FaceBook. To request to be added as a "Friend" on the memorial, please send an E-mail to Rebecca Hall at: [email protected]

NOTE: The VFW is also hosting a brief ceremony at their regular meeting on Wednesday, September 2nd at 7:00 PM, at the Veterans Memorial Building. Though this is considered more of an "internal" VFW event, other friends and family may attend as well.

Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Aug. 23, 2009
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