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Posted on December 19, 2011 | 3:04 p.m.

Robert Guillen, 1937-2011

A celebration of life will be held Wednesday for the loving family man and avid sports fan and youth coach

Source: Guillen Family

To sum up the life of a man in mere words can never fully express the essence of who he was. It does, however, give a glimpse into the heart and spirit of a life well lived. On Dec. 18, 2011, Robert Guillen ended his journey on Earth lovingly surrounded by his family and friends.

A husband, a father, a son, a brother, a godfather (Niño), an uncle, a friend, a coach, a ref and dear, dear grandfather, Robert — better known as Bob, Dad and Papa — had a heart of gold and lived in a spirit of love. His embrace was reassuring, his kindness loud and his zeal for life contagious. A happy man living to make a happy family.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara, of more than 50 years, his three amazing daughters, Karen Jacinto, Lori Tuller and Kelly Sorenson, and their husbands, Alvino Jacinto, Kevin Tuller and Mark Sorenson. He is also leaving behind the apples of his eyes, his grandchildren Keri and Alexa Ellenberger, Veronika, Leiesa, Sonja and Zoe Jacinto, Chad and Sophia Tuller, Tyler, Nico, Lucas and Camille Sorenson. His brother Mario Guillen, sister-in-law Patricia and brother Tony Guillen also survive him.

Guillen, born Sept. 15, 1937, was preceded in death by his mom, Irene, his dad, Nicholas, and his brother, Edmund.

To know Bob is to know his vast love and dedication to sports. An athlete, a coach, a referee and a spectator, Bob was all about the “game.” Loving football, baseball, basketball, Formula 1 Racing, soccer and tennis — whenever and wherever a game was on, you would find him there cheering on his favorite team. His love of sports led him to lifelong service to Santa Barbara community youth. Beginning with the creation of Goleta Valley South Little League as well as his endless hours of refereeing and volunteering for Jaycees, the Boys & Girls Club, St. Raphael School and the Youth Football League. Where there were sports, there was Bob. He never missed a game.

Throughout the years, Bob built an intricate patchwork of relationships and formed bonds of friendship and kinship with anyone and everyone he came in contact with. His legacy is that “he knew no stranger” and was always there to lend a helping hand. He was friends with his daughter’s friends, his grandchildren’s friends and their friends. No party was complete without Bob. Sooner or later he would evolve from Bob to “Dad” or “Papa.” That is the richness, the legacy that Bob Guillen has left behind — one of friendship, fatherhood and kindness.

The best part of a legacy is that it will live forever — living through and in everyone he touched. A personality trait, a look, an attitude, a mannerism, a talent have all been inherited by his kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews. He lives on because they live. That is the richness of his heritage. A gift for now and generations to come.

He died as he lived — in the center of it all, exuding unconditional love, courage and humility. A life well lived and lived well. Papa, Dad, Bob — your footprint will remain on the sands of each of our hearts. Never fading, never forgotten.

A celebration of life will be held graveside at Calvary Cemetery at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21. In honor of Bob, please no black attire. The family asks that guests represent one of his favorite teams (49ers, Notre Dame, USC, Lakers, Dodgers, Ferrari Formula 1, Ducati or soccer teams).

A special thank you to nurses at the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, to Dr. Thomas Woliver and Dr. Phil Delio. Your dedication, professionalism and loving support are appreciated and will never be forgotten.

In lieu of flowers, a donation in his name can be made to the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara.


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