Father, grandfather, husband and friend, Neal Robertson passed away at age 89 in Santa Barbara, Calif., from pulmonary fibrosis.
Neal was born in 1925 and grew up in East Los Angeles, attending Garfield High School.
His parents, Arthur Hugh and Eula Bessie, along with his three siblings, Myrtle, Waymond and Cecil, preceded him in death.
Many of the Robertson clan lived long, colorful lives, and Neal was no different. He loved to travel, whether to drive to Yosemite or fly to London. He served in the Navy during World War II. As a football player at East Los Angeles Junior College, he met and eventually married the cheerleader, Diana. He went on to graduate from USC and remained an avid fan of that football team.
Diana and Neal made their home in Whittier, Calif., and raised two daughters, Robin and Randi. He taught them much about the beauty and humor in life. He also passed this wisdom on to their children: Amber (Armando), Amanda (Brian), Eddie, and Jason and Caitlin (Pablo).
After almost 25 years of marriage, he lost Diana to cancer in 1973, leaving him to raise his 16- and 18-year-old daughters. After they graduated from high school, he moved to Chicago, met, and in 1978, married Bette Walshon. She brought two more children, Sharon Brunner and John Walschon (Joan) and their families, into his life. He loved his new extended family, and they stayed close to him over the years.
He and Bette moved to Pasadena and spent 17 years together. Upon retirement at age 69, Bette persuaded him to take up golf. It became his passion and he made lifelong friends with his golf partners in Pasadena. He lost Bette to multiple myeloma in 1995.
Shortly thereafter, he finally moved into his beloved beach house in Carpinteria. There he began a new life of walking the beach, golf and new friends. He joined the Newcomers Club, where he found new golf partners who became fast friends. He continued to play with them three times a week at the Montecito Country Club up until nine weeks before he died.
Also at Newcomers, he met Billi Saucier, who became his best friend, companion and wife. Billi brought a world of joy and caring into his life. They had many wonderful years of fun and love together. Neal embraced her children, Steve, Renee, Todd and John and their families, as his own. Billi stayed at his side until the moment he passed on.
Neal will be so missed by all of those who loved and cherished him.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara or to Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care of Santa Barbara.
Arrangements entrusted to Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.