The family of Robert (Bob) Jurgensen sadly announces his passing on the morning of June 21, 2019. He died peacefully at home surrounded by loving family members after a valiant two-year battle with lung cancer. He was 87 years old.
Though we are greatly saddened by his departure, we are eternally grateful for the blessings of his love and for his indomitable spirit, his zest for life, his wit and humor, and his inspirational leadership as a man, husband, father, teacher, and an active member in the Santa Ynez Valley philanthropic community.
Robert Woolston Jurgensen was born in Pasadena, California in 1932 to Harold and Jane Jurgensen. The oldest of four children, he attended Pasadena Polytechnic grade school and later La Canada-Flintridge Preparatory high school, where he was a star athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. He had dreams of playing professional baseball, but a back injury in college cut short his athletic career. He attended Stanford University, where he obtained a BA in Economics. (He later received an MBA from Pepperdine University.) At Stanford he also met his future wife, Janice Altick. They were married in 1953, had four children, and remained married for 66 years, until Bob's death.
Having joined the U.S. Army ROTC program in college, Bob served two years in the Army, stationed as an officer at Fort Benning, Georgia and at Fort Ord, California. After the Army, Bob and Jan returned to Pasadena, and Bob went to work for his father's business, Jurgensen's, a multi-store chain of gourmet grocery stores throughout California. After rising to president of the company and working for his father for 20 years, Bob left the family business to pursue an interest in the field of education, moving to Solvang, CA, in the Santa Ynez Valley, and going to work for Dunn School as business manager, teacher, and coach. Beloved by his students and fellow faculty, he worked at Dunn for 20 years, retiring in 1994.
Bob was an active member in the Santa Ynez Valley community, volunteering and serving on multiple boards and charity foundations. He was devoted to the Solvang Festival Theater and the PCPA Foundation, for which he was extremely active in fundraising efforts, and was instrumental in the theater's 45-year-long (and counting) success story. He was also a financial adviser to and faithful attendee of the local Christian Science church, of which his wife is a longtime member.
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Among Bob's many passions—after his devotion to his wife—were the Los Angeles Dodgers, jazz music, cooking, golf, bridge, and gardening. He was an excellent golfer and belonged to the Alisal Golf Club for 40 years. He also loved Hawaii, and he and Jan vacationed there annually for many years.
Our beloved father, Bob Jurgensen, was a man of deep integrity, a leader by example and character, a faithful friend to many, and a rock of stability and guidance for all his family and friends. He will be greatly missed, but he left us with a lifetime of memories, love, and inspiration. We expect he is already on the board and several committees in heaven, meeting and consulting with the angels, and playing golf on a heavenly course that resembles Mauna Lani.
Bob is survived by his wife, Jan; his four children, Ken, Doug, Lynn, and Neil; his two daughters-in law: Mary (Ken) and Debi (Doug); his four grandchildren: Jackie (Joseph), Keith, Claire, and Emma. He is also survived by his brothers, Hal Jurgensen (Finau) and Tom Jurgensen (Nimnual), and his sister, Carole Sundt.
Per Bob's wishes, no services are planned. Cards/letters are welcome, and soon after publication of this notice you may visit Obituaries at www.syvnews.com and share condolences/reminiscences in the guest book. Memorial contributions may be made to Solvang Festival Theater or PCPA Foundation.
The family would like to express their gratitude and appreciation for the outpouring of love and affection expressed by those in the community who knew our father.