Donations in Bob's honor can be made to: The American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and The Boys and Girls Club of Simi Valley.
Robert J. Larkin "Bob" passed away suddenly, but peacefully, sitting in his patio garden on Saturday, January 19th, 2013, of a heart attack. His family and many friends are heartbroken at the sudden loss of a man who lived a life of love and service to his family, community and country. He was 76.
Bob was born in Merna, Illinois on May 1, 1936, one of 10 siblings. After completing high school, he proudly served four years in the US Air Force. Stationed in Japan, he learned to speak fluent Japanese. After his service, he worked for Philco, which took him to 29 countries. Those experiences created in him a life-long love of travel and language.
Bob met wife Judy Glynn in Chicago and married her in her hometown of Galway, Ireland in 1961. In 1968, they settled in Simi Valley, California with their four children. He became an agent for State Farm Insurance. He earned several achievement and excellence awards during what would be a 44-year career as an agency owner. He was proud of attaining an Associate of Arts degree from Moorpark College, even while building his business and raising a family. On Sundays, Bob took his young children to explore parks around Ventura County. Summers included RV trips to the redwood forests, Monument Valley, the wild Oregon beaches, and north to Vancouver.
Bob became involved in local and state politics, serving as President of the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, and on the Parks Board. He was instrumental in the creation of the 33-acre Rancho Simi Community Park. He was in the Knights of Columbus, Rotary Club, and involved in numerous business associations, and charities. A favorite was the Simi Valley Boys and Girls Club. Bob became active in the California Republican Party. It was his lifelong passion. His enthusiasm was legendary. He had many treasured relationships among his political friends. He served as President of the California Congress of Republicans, he chaired the Ventura County Republican Central Committee, and had even attended a luncheon of the Republican Women's Federated luncheon on Saturday before he passed. He ran for State Assembly in 1996 and 2004.
In 2003, after 42 years of marriage and raising their children, Bob and Judy divorced. He found love again "on the back nine", with Donna Graen, a childhood friend with whom he was reunited at a school reunion in Illinois. The spark was immediate and obvious to everyone who knew them. She shared his love of politics, golf, travel, and entertaining family and friends as often as possible. They married on June 13th, 2004 at the Firestone Winery and Estate in Santa Inez Valley, California, and shared 81/2 years of joy until he passed.
Bob loved walking and bike rides with Donna and their dog, Gidget near their home in Westlake Village, CA. His most recent service position was on the board of his homeowner's association. His tomato garden was famous. He wrote poems for family and friends. He was a crooner who never passed up a karaoke opportunity! His daughters and grandchildren inherited his voice, and he was very proud of that fact. Bob called his family regularly, and he and Donna visited them often. To them, he was "Pop Pop". He was sentimental and romantic, intelligent and a great storyteller, as well as a history buff.
Bob was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Jerome and Sadie, and siblings Betty, Dick and Tom Larkin. He is survived by his wife Donna Graen Larkin. His children are Kathleen "Kate" Larkin and her fiancé Marcus Dancer of San Francisco, Mary Larkin Ingber, husband Dr. Craig Ingber and granddaughter Devon Ingber of Valencia, CA. His son Robert "Rob" Larkin, Jr., wife Angie Ravaioli-Larkin and grandchildren Brittney and Braeden Larkin of Keller, TX. And son Toby Larkin of Anthem, AZ. Bob's surviving siblings are: Jerry Larkin, Michael Larkin, Larry Larkin, Joan Reeves, Mary Shadowens and Alice Larkin
His Bonus children and Grandchildren: Tamra Presley Weiss, Husband Jack and Grandchildren Samuel Weiss and Alison Weiss of Chicago, IL and Christopher Presley of Chattanooga, TN from Donna's previous marriage.
There is a public viewing on Saturday(1/26/13) from 3-5pm, followed by a celebration of his life at the Westlake Village Inn at 6pm. The funeral for family and close friends is Sunday (1/27/13) at 11am.