Robert Via

Robert Abraham "Uncle Bob" Via Jr.

Wednesday, February 16th, 1927 - Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
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Robert Abraham Via, Jr., ‘Uncle Bob’, passed away on June 3, 2020. He was born on February 16, 1927 to Robert and Muriel Via in Honolulu, HI, and raised by his father and stepmother, Mary Kaawaloa Via.

While growing up in Kailua, HI, he acquired his lifelong passion for swimming, surfing, fishing, and volleyball. After graduating from the Kamehameha Schools in 1945, he went on to study at the University of Hawaii for 2 years and then joined the U.S. Army. Bob was a decorated veteran who was honored with 2 Purple Hearts and 3 Bronze Stars while serving in the Korean War as an Army Ranger. He retired from the military in 1972 and began his second career as a Swimming Pool Manager and Swimming and Water Safety Instructor at the Kane’ohe District Park Swimming Pool. Over the next 20 years, Uncle Bob taught thousands of Hawaii’s keiki, adults, seniors, and students with special needs to swim, lifeguard, and enjoy the water. He retired from the Honolulu City and County in 1992, but continued to volunteer with the Red Cross teaching Water Safety and Lifeguard Certification classes. Uncle Bob was honored as the 2012 Red Cross O’ahu Volunteer of the Year and was inducted into the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame in 2018. Besides water sports, he enjoyed golfing, playing tennis, hunting, fishing, and always having fun with his ‘tennis gang,’ his ‘Red Cross and Lifeguard Ohana,’ his Morris and Grace Shin Ohana, and numerous close and dear friends and neighbors.

He is survived by his children, Robin Tibaduiza of Honolulu, HI, Shelly Assiff of Reno, NV, Wayne Martinson of Union City, CA, and Wanda Martinson Castro of Reno, NV, 7 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. His everlasting kindness with others, sense of humor, and encouraging and positive attitude will live on in the hearts of ALL who enjoyed him.

A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later time.
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Private Condolence

Harolyne (Ewell) Grant

Posted at 03:19am
Dear Family and Friends of Bob,

I was saddened to learn of Bob’s death on June 3, 2020. It is sad to lose a loved one in death at any age, but hopefully at 93 years of age, it can be said of Bob what was said of Isaac at Genesis 25:39 "he died old and satisfied with days, having seen his children unto the third and fourth generations.” You have my deepest sympathies at your loss!

My husband learned to swim from Bob when he was in the 5th grade at Ben Parker Elementary. I was privileged to earn my Life Guard Certification with Bob during 35 grueling hours in the waters of Kaneohe District. What an thrilling and exhausting experience! He was a fantastic teacher who stressed every technique that would save the life of the victim AND the Life Guard! Later, our kids took lessons from him too. Generations have learned water safety and swimming from him.

May I share with you some promises from the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, that bring comfort at times of loss like this and help us look to the future with a real hope.

It was never our Creator's purpose that anyone should die, ever! When He put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they had the prospect of endless life, in ageless bodies, in perfect health, on a perfect Earth (Genesis 1:28).

The Creator has not given up on that purpose. He says that His word that goes out from His mouth will not return to Him without doing what He sent it to do. (Isaiah 55:11) So we know that perfect humans will live forever in paradise on earth—you and Bob can be among them! (Psalm 37:11 & 29). Then, in that perfect environment, we can all learn how our Creator really meant for us to live—in peace, without fears, in security, ... happy.

May you have comfort and peace from these promises until the day when you can be reunited with Bob — as a vibrantly healthy (Isaiah 33:24) and forever young (Job 33:24) person, reunited by means of the resurrection (Acts 24:15). Until then, Bob can sleep, he can Rest In Peace [RIP].

This is no fantasy, no pipe dream. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are our guarantees of this wonderful future! One day soon, the heartbreaks and sadnesses of this life “ ... will not be called to mind, nor will they come up into the heart.” Isaiah 65:17.

With deepest sympathy and genuine respect,
Harolyne Grant, Paris France

Nathan Owens

Posted at 07:27am
Rest in Peace, Uncle Bob. Like most lifeguards, I can instantly remember the sheer energy he brought to every Lifeguard Class. What an inspiration. My condolences to his ohana. God Speed!

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