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California Genealogy and History Archives


San Bernardino County


Robert Raymond Block 

Former resident of the Big Bear area, died peacefully in his home in Vista, Calif., on March 29. His ashes will be laid to rest during a memorial service at Riverside National Cemetery on Friday, June 8, 2012, at 10:45 a.m.

Bob was born in Bayonne, N.J., on Oct. 12, 1926. His family moved to Long Beach, Calif., when he was very young and he considered himself a native Californian. He served in the Army Paratroops during World War II, seeing action in the Philippines and the occupation of Japan.

Bob and his wife, Francie, first moved to Big Bear Lake in 1977 when they purchased Singing Pines Lodge near Red Ant Hill. They spent almost 20 years building the business from a winter weekend group retreat to a yearround business, adding at one time a membership in the American Youth Hostel association through which they met and entertained many travelers from around the world.

After selling the lodge, Bob and Francie moved to Erwin Lake where they continued to work and play in the Big Bear area. Bob was an active member of the Big Bear Lodging Association, the Big Bear Elks Lodge and Kiwanis. He served several terms as president in the Big Bear Historical Society and was a docent in the museum for many seasons. The Blocks enjoyed many trips with the Big Bear Sams Travel Club; and, formed the Big Bear Folk Dancers (later renamed the Village Dancers) - where their group performed at Oktoberfest and other festivities.

In 1994, Bob and Francie joined the Big Bear Performing Arts Association, which later evolved into CATS (Community Arts Theater Society), where Bob was a bottle dancer in "Fiddler on the Roof," a sword dancer in "Brigadoon," the donkey in "Man of LaMancha," the head of the Von Block Dancers in "Sound of Music," as well as a dancer and chorus member in "Guys and Dolls," and "The King and I," "My Fair Lady," and other early performances.

Bob is survived by his wife Francie, presently of Vista, Calif., his brother Philip of Peoria, Ariz., his son Tom and daughter Bonnie Flores of Darby, Mont., his son Ken of Oceanside, Calif., as well as 3 step-children, 11 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. The family welcomes anyone who would like to join them in Riverside on June 8, and respectfully requests no flowers. Francie can be reached at (760) 295-4060 or by e-mail at

"Big Bear Grizzly"  Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012 2:21 pm

Submitted by: Peggy Hooper