Robert Van Buren passed away suddenly on Friday, April 3 at his home at the age of 94. He touched many lives with his sense of humor and positive outlook on life.
Robert was born May 11, 1925 in Antioch and was the only child to Orville and Marion Van Buren.
He attended Excelsior middle school and as a child had fond memories of spending times with his Morgan family cousins on Morgan Territory Rd. Later he went to St. Mary's High school in Albany. He enjoyed traveling on the weekends with the local Geddes music band to gigs in the Oakland area, listening to all types of music. Later, as an adult, he learned to play the trumpet, sax and guitar. Upon graduating from high school he enlisted in the Marines attending boot camp on Yerba Buena Island and was assigned to the USS Republic as an MP, sailing in the Pacific. After his discharge, he returned to Brentwood and began attending UC Davis, where he majored in truck and crop science, leaving after 2 years to help with the family farm.
On May 8,1949 he married Barbara Frances Cakebread and they made a life on their ranch where they raised their 2 children, Cheryl and Steven. He was a hard working, life long farmer growing sugar beets, grain, corn, tomatoes, walnuts and peaches. He learned to fly and at one point in time co-owned a Citabria where he enjoyed many hours of flying. He also loved golf, and he liked to travel in their RV, fitting in a game or two when they could with friends. He also traveled with Barbara extensively to foreign lands, Spain, China, Ireland to name a few. One of his most recent enjoyments was flying a Citabria again on his 90th birthday.
He is survived by his daughter, Cheryl and Son-in-law Tony Allegro, Granddaughters Alyson Hays and Kimberly Interrante. But his greatest joys were his great-grandsons David Hays, Cameron and Dominic Interrante. He is predeceased by his wife Barbara, son Steven and parents Orville and Marion. He is survived by his sister-in-law Verna Kruse.
His generous spirit and love for family and friends will be missed by all who knew him. His celebration of life will be held at a later date when safer conditions allow.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to East Contra Costa Historical Society, Meals on Wheels or a charity of choice in his honor.
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