Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

Robert Mullen, Community Volunteer, Succumbs to Cancer

Robert Patrick Mullen, surrounded by family, ended his valiant struggle against lung cancer with courage and dignity on June 9, 2011.  He was 77 years old.

A 42 year resident of San Gabriel, Bob’s life reflected his lifelong commitment to his family and community which included a 12 year tenure as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner, being a founding member of the San Gabriel Tennis Club, volunteering as a classified “Advanced” AYSO soccer referee, and involvement as a parent leader for the San Gabriel Sea Gulls swim team.  He also served in numerous capacities for the San Gabriel Twirlers, an internationally recognized baton twirling group.  His involvement in schools, education and church was evident as a PTA President of the San Gabriel Mission Grammar School and founding member of the La Salle Sports’ Booster Club.  In addition, Bob was a Eucharistic Minister for over 20 years at the San Gabriel Mission.  He also volunteered for the Santa Anita Family Services in Monrovia that assists seniors in preparing their tax returns.

Passionate about tennis, one of Bob’s dreams was realized in 1974, when he, along with tennis aficionados Eric Hansen and Mike Wasser, worked closely with the Alhambra School District and the San Gabriel Parks and Recreation to establish the San Gabriel Tennis Club.  Bob was instrumental in writing the by-laws and served on the board in many capacities over time.  He made sure the club reciprocated the privilege of using the tennis courts at San Gabriel High School by purchasing nets and wind screens and providing trophies for the high school’s tennis team competitions.  During the 70’s tennis boom, Bob helped organize a city supported tennis tournament that attracted hundreds of players from the surrounding communities.  In his later years, he became a member of the Greater Whittier Tennis Club.

Bob was a regular timer for the annual San Gabriel 5-K Turkey Trot sponsored by the city each November.  Every spring he timed the All-City track meet that takes place at San Gabriel High School and is open to all the city’s middle school students.  During the summer months, Coach George Young took advantage of his expertise during the numerous swim competitions for the San Gabriel Sea Gulls.

On May 25, 1934, in the shadow of the Great Depression of 1929, Robert Patrick was born to Blanche and David Mullen in the township of Canosia just outside Duluth, MN.  He was the youngest of their three children.

On June 25, 1950 the Korean Conflict broke out when Communist North Korea invaded the Republic of Korea.  Like so many young men of his generation, Bob enlisted in the Marines.  He was deployed to Korea for a year where he served as Teletype Operator.  While in the Corps, Bob was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, The United Nations Service Medal as well as a Navy Presidential Citation.

After his discharge, Bob settled in the L.A. area and was hired by the Pacific Telephone Company as a frame man.  He used the GI Bill to continue his education at Los Angeles City College where he earned an AA Degree.  Over time, he worked his way through the ranks of the telephone company until he eventually became a staff advisor.  His job included writing technical instructions, conducting educational courses and traveling the states as a trouble shooter.  After his retirement, Bob went back to school and graduated Cum Laude from Cal State L.A. with a degree in Accounting.  He worked for the Internal Revenue Service for a time before deciding to retire for good.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Virginia and his sister, Arvada Roberts. His sense of humor and his gentle ways will be missed by his children: Christine Patton (Christopher), Kevin (Ariel), Kimberly Gero (Greg), and Steven and his grandchildren: Joseph, Desiree, Ryan, Kiara, Samantha, Dylan, and Paige.

The family is deeply grateful to the doctors and staff at the City of Hope for the care he received during his battle with cancer.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the San Gabriel Mission Grammar School to provide financial assistance for families who are struggling during this time.  Checks can be written to San Gabriel Mission Grammar School, c/o Sr. Sharon Dempsey, 428 Mission Dr., San Gabriel, CA 91776.

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