Bob Provine passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday evening, May 23rd, surrounded by his family. He was 93 years old.
Born on June 25, 1925 in Redwood City, CS, Bob was a decorated World War II veteran with a remarkable life of service, both to his community and to the country. He moved to Antioch, CA as a toddler, originally living in a tent at the corner of 20th and “C” Streets, as his father built the future family home. Shortly before graduating from Antioch High School in 1943, Bob enlisted in the Army Air Corp. After receiving his Army training, he was sent to Camp Shanks, a port of embarkation in New Jersey. It was here that he boarded the RMS Queen Elizabeth for transport to the Port of Southampton, England. Upon arrival, he immediately boarded an Army Landing Ship, Tank (LST) to cross the English Channel to the LeHarve Replacement Depot, France. He left LeHarve on one of the famous “40’s and 8’s”, the same French boxcars that a generation of American Soldiers had ridden in while in France during World War I. Upon arrival in Metz, France, he was assigned as a replacement to General George Patton’s Third Army, and served in the 94th Infantry, 376th Infantry Regiment. During the War, Bob saw combat action in Germany and served in the occupation of Czechoslovakia and Germany. In recognition of his service to our nation Bob was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and the Bronze Star.
Bob had a lifelong love of aviation, earning his pilots license shortly after returning from the war. In his later years, he could be found at the old camp at Stoneman in Pittsburg flying his collection of remote controlled airplanes. He greatly enjoyed spending time with grandchildren and model trains and was also a well known Ham Radio Operator. He was passionate about his hobby and built a tower in his backyard, one which he was able to crank upward to boost the signal. This enabled him to help family members of Vietnam veterans to communicate with their loved ones during the war.
After serving our great Nation at war, Bob returned to Antioch and married the beautiful Alice “Corky” Crist. They were married for more than 30 years, before Corky passed away in 1984. Bob and Corky adopted two daughters, Cathy Kolb (Robert), and Linda Ward (Jay) who blessed them with four grandchildren: John C. Kolb (Amber), Alicia A. Kolb, Brandon J. Merenda (Therese) and Breanna M. Meierdiercks (Brian); and four great grandchildren: John C. Kolb, Jr., Autumn Kolb, Brandon M. Merenda and Isaac B. Meierdiercks. A fifth great grandchild from Breanna and Brian Meierdiercks is expected in December.
During his remarkable life, Bob always worked to help others and to build his community. He watched Antioch grow from a small town of a few thousand residents to a city of more than 100,000. He has served his community well as a former volunteer firefighter, and for many years at the Antioch Historical Society where he enjoyed telling stories about the “old days” in Antioch.
Viewing will be held at Higgins Chapel, 1310 A Street, Antioch, CA 94509 on Wednesday, May 29th at 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
A funeral service will be held at Laurel Ridge Church, 2459 Laurel Rd. Oakley, CA 94561 on Thursday, May 30 at 11:00am
Burial will occur at Arlington national cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you think of dad and smile, salute the American flag, and visit and donate to the Antioch Historical Society Museum. https://www.antiochhistoricalmuseum/