Bob Faircloth

Jan 22, 1928 - Apr 1, 2017

Bob's Story

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Menifee - Robert "Bob" Faircloth, an actor, athlete, teacher and story-teller, died peacefully April 1, 2017. He was born January 22, 1928. His parents' families on both sides emigrated from Ireland during The Great Famine. The Faircloths settled in Quincy, Massachusetts, where a policeman relative arranged a near front row position for young Bob to see Franklin Delano Roosevelt campaign from the Quincy City Hall steps. He followed his mother and older sister to California where his sister's husband was based in the Navy. As a young teen he pumped gas for the likes of Clark Gable and Billie Burke (Glinda the Good Witch). He served in the United States Army Air Corps. He joked that since he scared Hitler to death just signing up, he spent his time pushing paper in Wiesbaden, Germany during post-war occupation and the Berlin Air Lift. He was honorably discharged as a corporal.

He attended Long Beach City College in California and graduated from Long Beach State University. His favorite pastime was playing baseball, but his New England accent fit his first theatrical role: the lead in Our Town. From slapstick comedy to Shakespeare to Irish theater, here are quotes from his stage reviews: "Faircloth seems incapable of giving a dull or detached performance" "entirely lovable" "captured nearly every act" "gesticular expressiveness of a dancer" "charm and zest" "dominates whenever he is present." After a stint starving in Hollywood (garnering minor TV guest spots), he went into teaching.

He earned a Masters Degree in Theatre Arts from California State University, Fullerton, focusing on the founding of the Abbey Theater (the Irish National Theater). Bob taught at the elementary, junior high and college level at various times, but taught for a quarter century at Artesia High School, in Lakewood, California. He taught History and English and even Math, but he was a renowned Theater teacher. To his students he quoted from memory Shakespeare, the Irish playwrights, and typing exercises, all with style. He moved to Maine after retirement and did his last directing work with local actors, including his son. The Bangor Daily News credited his strong directing.
Well over one hundred students gathered for his 85th birthday celebration, and time and again, spoke of his central and often paternal role in their life, and his edict that the star of the show helps clean up the set.

He was a loving husband and father. He especially loved camping with his family at a favorite fishing spot in the High Sierras. He and his devoted wife took his children on three epic cross-country road trips. Bob regaled his family with his broad knowledge of history and literature at every historical marker and memorial from Gettysburg to The Oregon Trail to witnessing Sioux tribal ceremonies to Quoddy Head to Mt. Rushmore to the homes of Jack London in California and the Adams family of Quincy.

He faced two strokes in his last years, but when he suffered a bad fall, he joked with the nurses and doctors the whole time. All his life Bob Faircloth told stories and held forth on history, opera, baseball, theater, books, movies, all things Irish -- and of course politics. He was a strong admirer of the Roosevelts, the Kennedys and Obama. He lifted his son on his shoulders to see Robert Kennedy two days before RFK's assassination. Bob Faircloth believed his children should support the big-hearted and generous promise of America.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of fifty-three years, Marilyn Faircloth; his two children, Maureen Walker and her husband Bill, and his son Sean Faircloth; granddaughters, Kate and Sarah; grandsons Brendan, Ryan and Declan; and by his nieces Kathleen and Leanore Iverson; and by many nieces, nephews, and in-laws on his wife's side of the family.

Thursday, April 13, 2017, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. viewing.
Service 11 a.m. - Noon at Miller-Jones Chapel, 26770 Murrieta Road, Sun City, CA 92586.

1:30 p.m. burial with military honors at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside, CA 92518.

In lieu of flowers donations may be given to a charity of your choice.
Published on  April 4, 2017
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