Robert Raymond Hastings
August 22, 1939 ~ December 1, 2023
Resided in: Newark, CA
There wasn’t a big-band record he didn’t love, a joke he didn’t relish telling, or a kiss he withheld from those he loved. Robert “Bob” Raymond Hastings was a man among men. A devoted husband of 59 years, much-loved dad, uncle, and Pepé to the six grandchildren who absolutely adored him – Bob was the proud and gentle patriarch of a family built on love, faith, humor, and a substantial amount of coffee. Bob died the morning of December 1, 2023, after a years-long, but “what, me worry?” battle with diabetic complications. He was 84 years old.
Bob was born in Fitchburg, MA, on August 22, 1939. In 1959, Bob enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and became a “Coastie,” serving his country for over 47 years – 27 as an enlisted serviceman. He reached the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer in 1978, and his military service afforded him the opportunity to sail the world (from the Oslo and the Arctic Circle to the Aleutian Islands and Japan). He was stationed in all corners of the country – from Honolulu, HI, to Portland, Maine, to Texas, California, and New York. Upon his retirement as Master Chief in 1986, Bob was reunited with the Coast Guard as the first civilian watch commander at Vessel Traffic Service in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving in this role on Yerba Buena Island until his second retirement in 2006.
Bob’s wit and wisdom were unparalleled. His dry sense of humor brought levity to pretty much every space he entered. His story telling – both in the written and spoken word – was engaging, delightful, and quite often had us in stitches. Quick with a kind word, a smile, and a hug, he always saw the good in people. At the same time, he could spot a phony from a mile away.
He was utterly adored by his nieces and nephews, particularly the six children of his eldest sister, Lee. Debbie Forrester, Donna Daigle, David Daigle, Denise Misustin, Dean Daigle, and DeeDee Nichols worshiped their Uncle Bob, and it’s pretty certain that their sense of humor was a genetic trait they inherited from him.
He married the love of his life Mary Lucille Chagnon (Chag) on September 7, 1964. Together, they raised two boys, John Hastings of Newark, CA, and Glen Hastings of Upland, CA. He and Mary were ridiculously proud of their sons’ educational and professional successes, and even more proud of the families that John and Glen raised.
Hobbies? He had many. He could play a wicked game of pool or darts and was a brilliant bowler, bowling a 700 series in the early 80s in New York. He was skilled at both chess and cribbage, loved a good crossword or Sudoku, and enjoyed playing Trivia Pursuit with dear friends Nick and Sherry Hinebaugh. He was an avid reader, loving a good ol’ fashioned yarn, particularly by Clive Cussler or Tom Clancy, or diving into history (particularly 9/11). He was active on social media (often providing daily weather updates from Newark) and was keen to gently and respectfully express his opinions regarding the political nonsense of the times. He loved a good cup of coffee from Starbucks or a coffee milkshake from Baskin Robbins. He was Mary’s right-hand man as she tended to their garden and to the neighborhood cats.
And, boy, could he cut a rug and swing with the best of them on the dance floor. Oh, and there was also the hidden talent of the Limbo.
So, Bob is survived by John and Glen, his sister Ronnie Hastings Searles of MA, and five grandchildren: Allison, Wesley, David, Chloe, and Elizabeth. He is preceded in death by his beautiful wife, Mary, his parents (Raymond and Dora), his brother Bruce Hastings, and his sister Lee Hastings Daigle, as well as by his baby granddaughter, Lauren Elizabeth.
Bob will be celebrated, remembered, and reunited with Mary on Monday, December 18, 2023. Visitations will begin at 8:30 am, with a Funeral service at 10:00 am, both of which will take place at Berge Pappas Smith Chapel of the Angels in Fremont, CA. Internment will follow at the San Joaquin National Cemetery in Santa Nella, CA.
Rest well, Bob/Dad/Pepé/Uncle Bob. We love you and we will miss you so much. But Memé is waiting for you with a brand new honey do list. He’s all yours, Mary, and back where he belongs … with you