Robert Noel Blau, a longtime and true Berkeleyan, died peacefully in Richmond, California on Aug. 29, surrounded by family members.
He will be missed by many: his beloved companion of 30 years, Lyn; his second wife, Nancy, and their daughter, Asia; his first wife, Anne, and their three daughters: Rachel, Felicity, and Katy; grandchildren Samuel, Rustin, Jasmine, Kossisko, Zachary, Nicholas, Tommy, Piper, and Riley; sister Mimi, brother Daniel, and many other relatives and close friends.
Robert was born in 1929, in Paris, France. He spent his youth in Los Angeles and his entire adult life in Berkeley. He earned a masters degree in English from UC Berkeley.
Robert proudly served as the first president of AFSCME Local 2428 at the East Bay Regional Parks District, and later worked for the parks district in a managerial capacity.
Robert was a carpenter; he built houses in Oakland as well as a cabin in the mountains, where he panned for gold along the banks of the Yuba.
His Letters to the Editor of local newspapers were published frequently. He enjoyed writing poetry, making wine from the plums in his backyard; and books. Starting with “A”, he read every novel in the Claremont branch of the Berkeley Public Library.
He loved movies (especially those in which women got revenge on arrogant men). He was a born feminist, relished women’s company, understood their issues and supported their causes.
Robert was interested in psychology. He wrote If You Always Have to . . . Then You Never Really Can, under the pseudonym Dr. Martin Evander, which reflected his non-judgmental acceptance of people with all their flaws and weaknesses. He expressed unconditional support and affection for his daughters and grandchildren.
His wishes were that no services be held; we hold his memory in our hearts and minds.
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