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Robert C. Torgeson

1924 - 2008, Santa Barbara

Robert C. Torgeson, retired owner of Torg's Top Shop, WWII Veteran and Melvin Jones Fellow of Santa Barbara Host Lions Club, was born December 7, 1924 in Santa Maria, CA, the second of three sons to Arthur and Myrna Torgeson. He passed away peacefully on October 25, 2008 at 1:41pm surrounded by his wife, children and nephew, listening to Glenn Miller's "String of Pearls". The world has lost a great man.

Bob lived his life with sincerity and a gracious, kind manner; a gentle, stoic man of few words yet memories could touch him to the point of tears and funny stories could set off his hearty laughter. He loved the cabin he built with friends at Lake Nacimiento and spent hours puttering around chopping wood and fixing things or towing the kids behind the boat on the water. He also loved to fish, watch football and NASCAR, listen to Vin Scully announce Dodger games on the radio while watching it on TV, and playing albums of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass while enjoying a Bloody Mary every Sunday. Bob loved his family deeply, expressed more in actions than words, and never left a question as to where his heart lay. He was a man of integrity who could be relied upon to fix anything and help in any way he could, be it work, personal, or in service to the community.

Bob volunteered for almost every Lions Club event they sponsored with particular devotion for the annual Fiesta Tri Tip Sandwich BBQ at the foot of State Street on parade day. He also spent hours at the Corn Booth in De La Guerra Plaza, often setting up the booth the day before Fiesta began and tearing it down afterward. The image of his wide smile under a trucker's cap, standing behind a BBQ or shucking an ear of corn is etched in many people's memories forever.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents Arthur and Myrna and brothers Bill and Don. He is survived by wife of 49 years Kathy, son Eric, daughter Kristy, nephew Mark, niece Lesley, sister in law Sally, extended family and numerous friends. The family wishes to thank the Nurses, CNAs and extended staff of Valle Verde Health Center and staff of Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care of Santa Barbara. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Lions Sight and Hearing Center of Santa Barbara.

A Public Service will be held Thursday, October 30 at 1pm at Welch-Ryce-Haider in Santa Barbara with graveside service to immediately follow at Santa Barbara Cemetery.

To paraphrase Willy Nelson (c/o Irving Berlin), here's hoping that Blue Skies are shining on him: Blue Skies are all he sees.

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