Bob Kirkwood, dedicated environmentalist and passionate supporter of Sempervirens Fund, passed peacefully on Dec. 10, 2017 in Palo Alto with his wife Edie and sons at his side.
In addition to his work with Sempervirens Fund, Bob was a passionate and insightful board contributor to many civic and environmental organizations including SPUR, POST, Trust for Public Lands, and the Northern Sierra Partnership. In the 1990’s Bob was on the board of the Coastal Conservancy and in 2005 he was Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s appointee to the newly created Sierra Nevada Conservancy.
Bob’s love of the outdoors grew from his early years spent hiking, exploring, and climbing the Tafoni rock formations in Castle Rock. Bob’s parents, Robert C. Kirkwood and Jean Gerlinger Kirkwood, owned Partridge Ranch – a pear and apple farm acquired by the State as a park expansion in 1981. His passions for parks and child development were rooted in the civic engagement and generous spirit of his parents.
Bob and his family have honored his parents with a monument and redwood sculpture at the new entrance to Castle Rock that Sempervirens Fund is currently building and which will open later this year. We are deeply grateful to Bob and Edie Kirkwood, and The Kirkwood Family Fund, for over four decades of generous support to our organization, and specifically for Castle Rock State Park’s new state-of-the-art entrance.
Born in 1939 in San Francisco, Bob was a graduate of Pomona College and Harvard Law School. In 1966, he married Bonnie Brooks and together they raised three sons. After two years in Japan working for a law firm, he returned to San Francisco where he practiced law at Brobeck, Phleger and Harrison.
Bob worked at Hewlett Packard for 25 years, retiring as Director of Government and Education Affairs. Working with David Packard, Bob designed and initiated the creation of the Santa Clara Manufacturing Group, a collaboration of industry and local governments that has evolved into the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. It was at this time that Bob met his wife Edith (Edie) Dorosin.
Bob’s other major interest was early childhood development and parental behavior. He pursued funding both environmental and childhood development issues working through his family foundation. A member of the Bohemian Grove, Bob enjoyed the camaraderie of his camp mates.
Bob was a generous and mentoring husband, brother, father/step father and grandfather. He is survived by his wife Edie; his sister Jeanie (Mike) and brother John; his sons Carter (Jessica), Brooks (Stephanie) and Corey Kirkwood; his stepchildren Dan (Fern), Abbie (Dan), and Alicia Dorosin; and by his super wonderful grandchildren Robby, Emily, Chloe, Kailey, Malaika, Jackson and Clara Kirkwood, Skylar and Miles Dorosin and Davis and Elana Rich. For his grandchildren, Bob was a model of a steward of the land and an instigator of many adventures.
Sempervirens Fund is saddened by the loss of such an inspiring person and fervent supporter of the outdoors. We send condolences to Bob’s wife, siblings, children, and other dear relations. May you find solace and peace in the wildlands of the Santa Cruz Mountains.