January 12, 1936-February 13, 2021
Robert (Bob) Barron was born January 12, 1936 in Alhambra, CA and was the youngest of three sons born to Hollis Harrington and Audrey Elaine Barron. A native of Southern California, he grew up in Arcadia, CA.
Bob was a jack-of-all-trades partly as a result of his work history and partly due to his innovative mind. His first job was washing pots for .25c per hour. He took on two paper routes to pay the expenses of his 4-H cow, Rusty. When he was a freshman in high school he accompanied his dad to Brownsville, TX where they worked getting cotton from Mexico. Unbeknownst to his father, and with only .21c in his pocket, he hitchhiked over 1600 miles back to his hometown. He ate a lot of saltine crackers along the way at .05c a box.
His grandfather got him a job as a hot-walker at the Santa Anita Racetrack and his love for horse racing was ignited! Besides being a hard-worker, Bob was one of the luckiest men around. Bob could read a racing form like no other! Later, he owned two race horses himself, one a winner, Windy Dancer, and one who lived up to his name, Second Landing.
He returned to Brownsville and graduated with honors with a degree in agronomy, grading and classing cotton, from Texas Southernmost College. He continued to expand his working skills and learned to drive heavy equipment. Once more he was drawn back to his hometown where he worked various jobs in carpentry and construction.
In 1958 he was drafted and served in the U.S. Army in Korea where he nearly froze his biscuits off, serving as quartermaster.
Upon returning home he met the love of his life, Karen while boating on Puddinstone Lake in San Dimas. It was love at the first hello. She couldn’t resist the handsome man who had just returned home from overseas. He had a boat, a car, and a job. He fell in love with the petite spunky gal. They were married nearly 60 years.
Bob formed a partnership with his mentor forming Barron & Eckhart, Engineering Contractors and worked for nearly 38 years laying pipe from San Diego to San Francisco and from the desert to the ocean. He liked to say if you flushed it, it probably traveled through his pipes.
In 1985, Bob and Karen moved from Arcadia to Arroyo Grande to retire. But Bob wasn’t ready to read the paper and watch tv. He built the two Bob’s Car Washes on Grand Ave and operated them for another 10 years.
Bob fought a heroic battle with metastatic lung cancer and exceeded doctors’ expectations. He alway said he wanted to be their star patient, and he was!
He is survived by his wife Karen, daughter Jackie, grandchildren Mia and Jeffrey, son John, and his brother Richard. He has numerous nieces and nephews all of whom love and admire the man who was as strong as an ox, as tough as John Wayne, and a man with grit.
Services will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery, 2560 Baseline Ave., Solvang at 1:00 Friday, March 5th.
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