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A Giant has Fallen: Bob Bastian 1933 – 2022

Bob Bastian, one of Rio Linda/Elverta’s most respected elders and biggest advocate, has died at 88 years old.

He leaves a legacy in this community that is immeasurable.

He was born on March 4, 1933, in Sacramento. He attended Castori Elementary School in North Sacramento, which was called McClellan Elementary School at that time.

At Grant High School Bob was a 1st Team, All-City Offensive Tackle in 1950. He began his service career early, being elected ASB president at Grant in 1951.

Once he graduated from Grant he continued his football career at American River College, where he also became ASB president in 1955.

Later, he worked in maintenance for the Rio Linda School District while attending Sacramento State College. After obtaining his teaching credential, he taught at Lincoln High School before coming back to teach in Rio Linda.

In 1981, as chairman of the Rio Linda Lions Community Betterment Committee, he arranged a public meeting with then-Sacramento County Sheriff Duane Lowe, and a panel of State and County officials including State Senator John Doolittle, Assemblywoman Jean Moorhead, Sacramento County Supervisor Sandy Smoley, Allan Zarenberg deputy attorney general, and Superior Court Judges Sheldon Grossfeld and Cecily Nymomarkay.

By 1982, he was the chair of the Rio Linda Education Association.

In 1991, he was a Sacramento County Parks Commissioner, part of a special committee working to create an American River-style parkway along the banks of Dry Creek which would tie into a 70-mile loop of bike trails in Sacramento and Placer Counties. This project evolved into the Sacramento Northern bike trail and the Dry Creek bikeway trail.

In 1992, he was the organizer of the 14th annual Rio Linda Elverta Lions Club Rodeo, which drew over 4,000 spectators and raised funds for low-income, visually impaired children in Sacramento County.

In 1994 Bob retired from the Rio Linda Union School District after 33 years of service, time spent mostly working with special education students at Hillsdale, Vineland, Dry Creek, and Rio Linda Elementary. With his newfound leisure time, he became president of the Rio Linda Elverta Historical Society and got himself elected as one of the very first members of the Rio Linda Elverta Recreation and Park District’s newly independent board of directors.

In 1995, the Rio Linda-Elverta News selected Bob as “Citizen of the Year” due to his outstanding community service in the Rio Linda-Elverta area.

At the time, Bastian was sitting on the Rio Linda-Elverta Recreation and Parks District board of directors and was president of the Rio Linda-Elverta Chamber of Commerce board of directors and the Rio Linda-Elverta Historical Society. He was also chairman of the Sacramento County Park and Recreation Commission and chairperson of the Administrative Council of the Community United Methodist Church. He was a member of the Rio Linda High School Advisory Committee, the Westside School and Rio Linda School PTAs, the Dry Creek Parkway Advisory Committee, the Rio Linda Lions Club, the Community Park-School Safety Committee, and the Rio Linda Grange.

By September 1995 he was working on restoring the Dry Creek Ranch House and museum for the Historical Society.

in 2002, Bob helped acquire the $200,000 grant from the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency that funded the reconstruction of the Rio Linda Depot building.

He then served on the Rio Linda Union School District Board of Trustees for a decade before he was elected to the Twin Rivers Board in 2007, where he served as the representative of this community for 15 years.

In fact, he took part in a Twin Rivers Unified School District board meeting the night before he passed, serving the community he loved right up to the very end.

“Trustee Bastian was a tremendous school board member, a tireless champion for kids, and a community icon and leader who dedicated his time to the betterment of our school district. He was also a caring, honest and supportive friend. I will miss his friendship dearly.”   

Twin Rivers Unified Superintendent Dr. Steve Martinez

“I thought I knew how many lives my Dad touched but I can tell you today that I honestly didn’t. I want to tell you from the bottom of my heart that my Dad loved each and every one of you. This Community and the people meant so much to him it is honestly something I could not explain. A dear friend said today your Dad was truly a Angel on Earth. I believe this, he always had a answer and if he didn’t he would try to help anyone he could. His passion was our schools, our history and this Community. He did everyday what I assumed was impossible. Mending ties and giving love. Thank you to everyone from our family and I hope his legacy will live on in each of us and all of you.”

Daughter Stacey Bastian

“Bob’s passing is a huge loss to our community. He was truly a public servant who dedicated his life to public education and his beloved Rio Linda. I will be forever grateful to him for his friendship and will miss him terribly. While we are deeply affected by this loss, I know that Bob would want us to remain focused on our mission and the district’s students who meant the world to him.”    

Twin Rivers Unified School Board President Michelle Rivas

Bob is survived by his wife of 49 years, Susan Bastian, children Stacey, Robert, Mark, Michael, and Michele. Grandchildren, Jason, Paisley, Miles, Logan, Oak, Jesse, Tyler, Chris, and Bella and Several great-grandchildren and many dear friends and community members that he loved dearly.

Memorial Service announcement will be forthcoming.

Publisher’s Notes: Bob’s loss is immeasurable for this community and leaves a huge void, particularly in the areas of history and education. His lifetime of service to the community speaks for itself and would exhaust a normal human. That wasn’t Bob. He was tireless and ever-present in his love and commitment to the community and particularly the kids of Rio Linda/Elverta.

Walking into the Creekside Diner and seeing Bob having breakfast or lunch was a common occurrence, and he always welcomed the opportunity to have my wife and I sit with him and chat about issues, current events, or just ask how the family was doing. I will miss those chance meetings greatly.

During the course of this research, I discovered that Bob’s name comes up nearly 120 times in the Sacramento Bee between 1950 and 2022, over 70 years of service to this community. He truly did the work of 10 men.

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