Robert Boyd Block
07/05/1933 – 02/12/2013
Robert Boyd Block, 79, died in Santa Barbara, CA, Tuesday, February 12, after a long illness.
Robert was born Robert Howard Boyd on July 5, 1933, in San Francisco, CA, to Louise Twedt and Howard Boyd. His name was changed to Robert Boyd Block after his adoption in 1941 by B. Arnold Block, his mother’s second husband. Robert served in the United States Army as a radioman, posted to Germany from 1954 to 1957. When he returned to California, he completed his degree in Physics from U.C. Berkeley, earning the Phi Beta Kappa award. Robert worked as a physicist before receiving his law degree from Boalt Hall at U.C. Berkeley School of Law. A rewarding career as a Patent, Copyright and Trademark Lawyer followed, which included stints at law firms in San Francisco and Los Angeles. After retiring as Patent Counsel for Northrop Grumman Corporation in 1992, Robert and his wife moved to Santa Barbara where he formed a partnership with Kenneth Hovet with offices in Ventura and Santa Barbara.
An avid HAM radio operator, sailor, traveler, and genealogy researcher, Robert never really retired. He held an expert radio license, call sign K6LX, ran several HAM radio nets, and achieved over 200 verified international amateur radio station contacts during his time in Santa Barbara. He was a member of the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco since 1969. An enthusiastic traveler with his wife of 20 years, he completed his last trip to the ruins of Pompeii in November 2012 and was planning a trip to Scotland when he died.
Robert liked to quote the Irish poet, Tom MacIntyre:
Climb, traveller, or stiffen slowly on the plain.
Robert leaves behind his beloved wife, Sheila MacAvoy Block, and their children Shannon Calverley (and husband Grant of Friday Harbor, WA), Erin Braden (and husband Chris of Decatur, GA), Laura Ackerman (Santa Monica, CA), Phil Gibbons (and wife Shari of Camarillo, CA), and Sally Livingston (and husband Josh of Monte Nido, CA ), and nine grandchildren. He is survived by his brother Michael Block and sisters Louisemarie Boone and Anne Seymour.