Robert A. Carman

Date of Birth

May 14, 1931

Date of Death

July 3, 2010

City of Death

Santa Barbara

May 14, 1931 – July 3, 2010

Bob Carman passed peacefully at home on July 3, 2010, to continue serving the Lord in his heavenly home. At his side were his wife Lyn, niece Margaret and dear friends. On his desk was his persistent prayer, “Use me, Lord, as your servant, draw me nearer, Lord, use me until every ounce of my being is used in your service.”

Bob Carman was born May 14, 1931, in Homestead, Pennsylvania to Cornelia and Archibald Carman. He and his brother were raised by their loving and devoted mother. Times were difficult for Bob while growing up but what he did have was a brilliant mind, an athletic body, remarkable creativity and a mother who was determined he would go to college. In high school, Bob flew through his science and mathematics classes, never made anything less than “A” grades, was class president, editor of the school year book, captain of the track team and winner of many awards.

Carnegie Mellon University became the nurturing place for Bob’s brilliant mind. He earned bachelors degrees in both mathematics and physics and also was selected in his junior year as the school’s outstanding varsity athlete because of his remarkable record in Track and Cross Country. Bob ran most every day for the rest of his life until Lewy Body Disease took over his body and mind. In his running, Bob won national championships, took a 7th place in the Boston Marathon, won first place in the Culver City Marathon, and ran the length of Ireland.

As a young physicist Bob was offered many jobs in industry but it was teaching that resonated with his talents and motivation. After a year of working in industry he accepted a physics teaching job at San Bernardino Valley College. Later he taught at Santa Barbara City College and obtained a doctorate from UCLA in Education. He also started writing “user friendly” mathematics textbooks and has authored a total of 12 different textbooks.

Because of the success of his books, Bob retired from his teaching early – and went to church.

He found St. Barbara Parish at the Old Mission, the Franciscan Friars and the opportunities to serve God in new ways besides being a caring teacher, parent, and husband. At the Mission, Bob became Fr. Virgil Cordano’s “right hand man.”

In his spiritual journey, he also made “running pilgrimages.” Bob ran the length of Ireland from Malinhead to Mizenhead, the Santiago de Compostela Trail from the Pyrenees near Lourdes in France to Santiago in Spain and from Rome to Assisi. He and Lyn also took pilgrimages with Mission pastors to the Holy Lands, to Assisi, to Holy places of Spain, Portugal and France, and they visited the churches founded by St. Paul in Greece and Turkey.

As Bob and Lyn became more involved in the Church, they went through the Formation Program to become Secular Franciscans with Bob taking more and more leadership with the 126 year old St. Louis the King fraternity.

A new chapter began as Bob won first place in the Simon-Scanlon writing contest. He soon was selected to be on the editorial board of the Franciscan THE WAY magazine and put his heart into writing stories reflecting his deep faith.

Bob will be dearly missed by his wife Lyn of 55 years, daughter Patricia and her son Ricki of Santa Barbara; daughter Laurie Melchner, her husband Harald and children Gina and Max of Germany; daughter Maire, her husband Patrick and children Willie, Corey, and Isabelle of Santa Barbara; son Eric, wife Isabelle and children Juliette, Elise, and Theodore of France; and his mother-in-law, Mary Porter of Santa Barbara; and niece Margaret Carman of San Luis Obispo.
Great appreciation goes to Hospice of Santa Barbara and to Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care for their incredible contributions and to all the people who contributed their love and care.

Bob Carman has touched many lives as teacher, runner, artist, writer, and servant of Christ.

He has done his very best in the race. He has run the full distance, he has kept the faith. Now the prize of victory is waiting for him, the crown of righteousness which the Lord will give to all who wait with love for Him to appear.

The funeral will be Wednesday, July 14, at 10 AM at St. Barbara Parish at the Old Mission with a reception in the Bonaventure Hall following the service. A Vigil service will be held the evening before, July 13, at 6 PM at St. Barbara Parish at the Old Mission. Memorial Donations may be made to the Old Mission Franciscan Friars or to the Old Mission Secular Franciscans.


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