Feb. 2, 1927 - Mar. 13, 2014
Formerly of Santa Cruz
Bob Bickal died on March 13, 2014 in Yardley, Pennsylvania after a long illness. He was 87. Bob was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the son of S.L. and Frances Bickal. After serving in the U.S. Navy during and after WWII, he received degrees from Grinnell College and the Graduate School for Arts and Sciences at Columbia University. Bob taught English at the Eastman School of Music and Rochester Institute of Technology before beginning a long career as a labor negotiator and personnel manager for the New Jersey Department of Higher Education, Rutgers University, the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry, the University of California at Santa Cruz and Harvard University. While in Rochester, NY, Bob was elected to the school board and ran for Congress. He served as a trustee of the Rochester Public Library and hosted a jazz show on the radio. Jazz was a lifelong love from his teenage years playing clarinet in the Fort Dodge Municipal Band. His other passions were photography, cooking and running. Bob completed the New York Marathon in 1980 at the age of 53 and went on to compete in many other races in California. After retirement, Bob lived in Santa Cruz, California where he was active in the community. He served on the Santa Cruz Zoning Board for eight years, co-founded First Night Santa Cruz and was a long-time supporter of the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. He was very proud of his children and grandchildren. Bob is survived by his three children, Jean Bickal of Trenton NJ, Ellen Bickal, of New York City, and Jim Bickal of Minneapolis MN and their mother Janet Bickal; three grandchildren, Mike, Lydia and Sarah as well as a sister, Ann Bernabe. There will be a celebration of Bob's life on May 10th from 12:30 to 3:30 at the Star Bene Restaurant, 2-1245 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz.
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Published by Santa Cruz Sentinel on Apr. 26, 2014.