Mr. Robert Maxey McNamara passed away peacefully on March 9, 2011 in Rancho Bernardo, California. He was 94 at the time of his passing.
He was born on September 19, 1916 in Fairplay, Colorado to Dorothy and Charles McNamara. The family moved to Compton, California, where he graduated from Compton High School in 1935. He was a 4.0 student and lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track. He was considered by many to be one of Compton High School's greatest athletes.
He then went to the University of California at Berkeley on a baseball scholarship and graduated in 1939. He played freshman football, basketball and baseball. He then concentrated on baseball and was an All-American and the Conference Player of the Year in 1939, in his senior year. One of his many highlights was hitting a bases loaded home run against Stanford in his last at bat in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat them 12-11 in the Big Game.
Bob was signed by the legendary manager, Connie Mack, to play baseball professionally for the Philadelphia Athletics. His debut was on May 27, 1939. At his first time at bat, Bob faced Lefty Gomez, a future Hall of Famer, who was pitching for the World Champion New York Yankees and drilled a single. Bob also played for Hall of Famers Rogers Hornsby at Memphis in 1940 and Pepper Martin in San Diego in the Pacific Coast League in 1945 and 1946. Bob was the 9th oldest living Major League Baseball Player and the oldest living San Diego Padre when he passed away.
Bob had quite an exciting year in 1939, but the most memorable event was marrying his college sweetheart, Annabelle Jane (A.T.) Tarr, on September 29th. They were married for 66 years and raised three children in Fullerton California. His wife predeceased him on April 25, 2006.
Bob's baseball career was interrupted by World War II, where he chose to support the war effort by going to work for Northrop Corporation. He rose through the accounting and finance ranks and retired as a Corporate Officer, Senior Vice-President of Finance.
On retirement, he and A.T. moved to Escondido and then to Ramona. They traveled and enjoyed playing golf together. They belonged to Yorba Linda Country Club, Escondido Country Club, and San Vincente Golf Club. They had four holes-in-ones between them and Bob recorded a round of 74 when he was 75 years old.
But their greatest joy was their family and the numerous holiday get togethers. It was rare that Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas were not spent together as a family. They are survived by his son, Robert W. McNamara, DDS of Yorba Linda, his wife Jenny; daughter, Laurel Schweig, ‘63 of Ramona and her husband Richard; and son, J. Bradley McNamara of Oceanside; seven grandchildren; one grand dog, Jerry; and three great grandchildren.
We were blessed to have such a wonderful family and so many good memories to look back on. Private graveside services will be held in Ramona, California.
Published in Orange County Register on Mar. 17, 2011.