Bob Alexander – (1952 – 2012)

Even as he is not here with us now, Bob Alexander will always be a part of California Operation Lifesaver. His joy and passion were contagious—it’s easy to see that same joy and that same passion in the work of those who love him still. The following eulogy is courtesy of Bob’s family and the GreenLawn Funeral Organization. Beautiful words for an absolutely beautiful man.

Robert Glenn Alexander passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at Mercy Hospital on Truxtun Avenue, the same hospital where he was born on March 25, 1952. At the age of two, his family moved to Needles, California, where he grew up. Bob was active in choir, school plays, and was captain of the track team. He and his brother played guitars, wrote songs, and had a band. Upon graduation from Needles High School in 1970, Bob hired out with the Santa Fe Railway and married Patricia Weaver. Together, they were blessed with two sons. Bob was also a member of the Needles Volunteer Fire Department.

Bob met Jacqueline Behnke in late 1974. They moved to Bakersfield in 1975 and married in 1979. Together, they were blessed with two daughters. Bob cherished being a part of everyday life with his girls and their family travels with cheerleading, gymnastics, swimming, and chaperoning school
trips. He also spent time with his boys snow skiing and camping, attending football or soccer games, or playing video games. He continued to play guitar, and write and sing songs. Bob’s life was about spending every moment he could with his wife, kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews. He texted his
siblings daily. He believed in family and friends, playing golf, and working with the best team on earth at the BNSF. He enjoyed meeting with friends for coffee and breakfast, having a good laugh, and being surrounded by friends and coworkers. To many, he was lovingly known as “Buffet Bob.”

Bob was also very active with the United Transportation Union and served Local #1581 as Vice President (1976-1980) and President (1981-1986); Legislative Representative (1985 to 2004) and First Vice-Chairman, State of California Legislative Board (1992 to current), as well as several other
committees and delegations. A third-generation railroader, Bob was employed by the Santa Fe Railroad, now the BNSF Railway, for 42 years. As a Conductor/Brakeman, Bob worked the Bakersfield-Barstow run. Bob’s passion for others and concern for railroad safety led to his involvement with
Operation Lifesaver and as a Rail Safety Coordinator. “Bob meant so much to so many of us involved with Operation Lifesaver. His many years of giving to OL has and will continue to have an immeasurable and everlasting impact not only on this organization but every single person that he trained or witnessed his safety presentations. And they are many.” We still hear his voice saying, “Look, Listen, Live”!

When the Lord sent his angels, Bob was surrounded by family and a few close friends. He is survived by his wife, Jacqueline, Bakersfield, CA; daughters, Jennifer Alexander-Black, Bakersfield, CA, and Brigitte Alexander, Irvine, CA; ex-son-in-law, Johnny Black, Bakersfield, CA; sons, Michael
Alexander-Fuller (Diane), Santa Maria, CA, and Eric Alexander-Fuller (Cheryl), Bakersfield, CA.; five grandchildren, Jacob Black, Bakersfield, CA, Christopher and Devon Alexander-Fuller, Santa Maria, CA, and Austin and Destiny Alexander-Fuller, Bakersfield, CA; brother, Michael Alexander (Mary) of Eugene, OR; sisters, Helen (Joe) Hickman, Klamath Falls, OR, and Julia (Gene) Stemper, Wasilla, Alaska; nieces, Jodi (Maxx) Garris, Bakersfield, CA, Vanessa Jensen and Tara Brewer of Oregon; nephews, Lance Blackman of Oregon; John (Melanie) Jordan, Bakersfield, CA; several grandnieces and
nephews; mother-in-law, Shirley Behnke, Bakersfield, CA; sister-in-law, Kathryn Hobbs-(Dave) Peoples, Spanaway, Washington; brother-in-law, Kurtis (Kiyomi) Behnke, Tokyo, Japan; niece, Sierra Behnke, Tokyo, Japan. Bob is also survived by ex-wife, Patricia Fuller, Needles, CA. Being the person he
was, as his sons grew up with their mother, Bob considered his ex-wife’s youngest son, Jimmy Fuller, to be a part of his family. After James Fuller Sr. passed away, Jimmy moved his family to Bakersfield for a few years. They moved back to Needles last year. Bob is survived by Jimmy (Desiree); and two
grandsons, Christian and J.J. Fuller.

We are all so blessed to have had Bob in our lives. He never met a stranger, was always a true friend, and would give you the shirt off his back, even if it was the only one he had. He left us way too soon. We will always remember this incredible, loving, and generous man.

About California Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver, Inc., a national, non-profit educational organization, seeks to reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities at America's highway-rail grade crossings and on the railroad rights-of-way. California Operation Lifesaver Train Awareness Program is a comprehensive train safety program that consists of the 3 E's: Education, Engineering and Enforcement for California's Railroad At-Grade crossings and Trespassing along the many miles of California's Railroad Rights-of-way. Free safety presentations are given to schools, community groups, school bus or professional truck drivers, emergency responders and other organizations. California Operations Lifesaver participates in many community events throughout California.
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5 Responses to Bob Alexander – (1952 – 2012)

  1. Trishia tice says:

    Bob was an inspiration to me through Operation Lifesaver . His contagious smile and energy will always be with me in each of my presentations. Bob I miss you.

  2. For the last few years family needs and a move kept me from being involved with CAOL. This evening, while thinking about my return, I saw this. I was shocked to see this! Bob was not only active in CAOL in a leading position but a good friend. Memories of training at the BNSF facilities in Bakersfield come to mind as well as activities in such places as Stockton, Manteca, Modesto and Railtown 1897 (Jamestown) come to mind.

    Bob, I know that where you are you can see those that you touched directly or indirectly with the Operation Lifesaver message. You must also know who avoided a tragic encounter with a train because of your efforts. Paul

  3. Kurt says:

    Bobby was one of a kind. A truly genuine soul. To know him was to love him. Sincerely one of Gods family, we were blessed to have known him, not only as family, but as a freind, he was a genuine freind to everyones family that knew him. It was just Bobby being Bobby.

    We miss you, kurt

  4. Denise says:

    I still miss him so much! Got a call from a SO in So Cal yesterday that remembered Bob and me teaching GCCI to him. I miss teaching with him, but will never forget our first OL presentation we did together at NASA Dryden at Edwards Air Force Base. Too many good times with Bob. Just wish there could be more.

  5. Tina Buell says:

    The First Annual Buffet Bob Golf Tournament in honor of Bob Alexander was a
    fun event and embodied the spirit of Bob, having fun while promoting a very worthy cause. Thank you, Bob Alexander for all you did for us. It is now in our hands to keep the love and laughter flowing. We will do so every year in your honor. xoxo

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