Obituary

Robert (Bob) Whitaker Elwell, II.

 Bob Elwell, a man loved by his family and many friends for his kindness, his wisdom, and his sense of humor, died unexpectedly on Saturday May 13, 2000, after a heart attack.

 Bob was born on June 2, 1953, in New Jersey, and moved to the Bay Area in1978. After graduating in Business in 1981 from Menlo College, Atherton, California, he worked in commercial real estate for Templeton Company Ltd., Charter Commercial, Marcus and Millichap, and Ernst & Young.  At Templeton, Bob was instrumental in the creation of the first computerized database of the commercial property inventory for the Silicon Valley.  In1997, he started his own business, E & I Real Estate. He had lived in Los Gatos for the past 22 years.

 Bob lived by the Quaker ideals of his childhood, integrity, family, honesty, and hard work. Those were his values not because of a conscious decision that they were right, but because it was the only way he could be.  Bob was a soft-spoken man who was unswerving in putting others before himself; an initiator, a planner, an organizer, and an unconditional friend. He loved to give, and it was a family joke that Christmas was characterized by vast stacks of presents that took all day to open, all from Bob.

As well as the many ways he helped anyone who needed it on a daily basis, Bob volunteered for the Special Olympics while at Menlo College, and later joined the Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization. He was the first person to work with special needs children in Santa Clara County. For the past 12years, Matt Tradieu and his family have played a major part in Bob’s life, and he in theirs, and they will miss him deeply. In 1998 Bob received an award from the organization honoring him for his commitment and caring. Another of his commitments originated in the 1980s, when he began what became an annual calendar event for dozens of friends, a weekend of whitewater rafting on the American River at Coloma. Each year, Bob planned and prepared for the trip with minimal help, bearing all of the organizational burden and much of the cost. The rafting trip was his annual gift to the people in his life, and he once explained what he hoped it achieved, that for one weekend, people could escape whatever was troubling them and truly relax.

Bob’s activities and interests were wide-ranging. He grew up by the ocean, first on the East Coast and then on the West, and boating and water sports, including skiing and whitewater rafting, were passions. He was a runner and racquetball player, and enjoyed bowling and snow skiing. He was a long time supporter of Stanford basketball and football. He was a great reader and moviegoer, and especially loved a true story.

Bob was a great storyteller in his own right, a funny man who kept his friends and family laughing. He had wisdom and humanity, and an appreciation of the simpler things in life. He brought people together, bound by their friendship for him and his friendship for them. He impacted the lives of everyone who knew him, as a good man who affected the way they looked at their own lives because of his values and approach to life. Bob, the beloved son of Robert Whitaker and Virginia S. Elwell, was beloved and is deeply missed by Patti Marshall and Crystal Marshall; his sisters Barbara, Susan, and Nancy; his nieces and nephew, Jennifer, Ariel, and Brice; and his extended family and many, many friends.

 

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