Kenneth Blair "Bebe" Rawlings
Carmel, CA - Kenneth Blair "Bebe" Rawlings, 84, passed away peacefully on May 20, 2017. Ken was born in Oakland, CA on April 20, 1933 to William A "Binks" Rawlings, a basketball coach, and Lois Irene Rawlings, a schoolteacher.
Ken grew up in Piedmont, CA, where he attended Piedmont High, playing football, basketball (his favorite) and baseball. His '51 Varsity basketball team became league champions and he was named as an All-County guard.
After high school, Ken briefly attended College of the Pacific in Stockton (now UOP) before serving in the Coast Guard in Morro Bay, where he toured the Pacific and played basketball for the Guardsmen up and down the coast. He then attended the University of California at Berkeley, graduating with a degree in Business Administration in 1959.
From 1962-1978 he worked in the investment business in San Francisco for various firms including ISI, Bear Stearns and Kuhn Loeb. An entrepreneur at heart, Ken founded Otis Spunkmeyer's Olde Tyme Cookies (and Burritos) in 1976 with the help of friends and family. As the company grew and transitioned from retail stores to wholesale distribution, the name was shortened to Otis Spunkmeyer, Inc. The cookie business expanded into a global brand and the company became vertically integrated to include coffee and muffins, a limousine and jet charter business, DC-3 sky tours, metal fabrication, and plastic design and production.
Ken never took his successes for granted and was committed to "giving back" as an enthusiastic philanthropist. His generous support extended to a wide variety of institutions that reflected his many passions. This included athletic fields throughout the East Bay, athletics and education at Cal, animal rescue, educational and counseling scholarships, and the arts. His proudest contributions were those of his own design: The Otis Spunkmeyer Student Motivational Program and the Lois Blair Rawlings Foundation Educational Inspiration Award.
Over the years Ken's great love of basketball had him playing weekly "pick-up" games on the local courts in Piedmont and Oakland. He was a regular at "Cal" basketball games, Warriors, Giants, A's, Raiders and 49ers games, and he relished socializing with his high school basketball teammates and coach.
He also enjoyed his various clubs and affiliations. Even though his golf swing left a lot to be desired, he always had fun at the Claremont Country Club, Olympic Club, Tehama Golf Club, Pebble Beach & Tennis Club and Stock Farm. He also loved spending time with the Piedmont High School Boosters Club, at Villa Taverna, The Bohemian Club, The Bankers Club, 100 Club and Muenter's Boys, as well as the simple pleasure of watching the sun rise, coffee in hand, over Bethel Island before a day of waterskiing with the kids.
Ken is survived by his beloved daughters Kimberly Rawlings of Mill Valley, CA, Kacy (Larry) Deatherage of La Jolla, CA, Lindsey (Evan) Baker of Dallas, TX, and Logan (Artthur) Duffort of Shropshire County, England; his five grandchildren Cecelia, Binks, Blair, Edith and Bruno: his nieces Sue Hooten, Laurie Ridge, Marcia White, Leslie Rawlings, Stacey Rawlings and Jodi Rawlings and his nephew Bill Morgan, and their families.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, June 9th at 11am at the Binks Rawlings Gym, 800 Magnolia Ave., Piedmont CA. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to your local chapter of Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Jun. 3 to Jun. 4, 2017.