February 17, 2013 12:20 AM
MULLANEY, Robert E "Bob"
Passed away peacefully in his home on January 17, 2013 at the age of 91. Born in Omaha, NE his family moved first to Los Angeles and then to Santa Barbara in 1931 when Bob was 10. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Barbara Jean Mullaney. He is survived by his three children Marsha Mullaney-Novak (John Novak), Rob Mullaney (Linda), Maureen Hamson (Greg) and five grandchildren.
A longtime Santa Barbara resident, Mullaney spent much of his free time as a volunteer beginning with the Jaycees in the 1940's. Over the years he was involved in many volunteer and fundraising efforts including hosting a speedway motorcycle race at Valley Stadium in 1969 to raise money for lighting the field. Others include the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, Semana Nautica, and Easter Relays, Santa Barbara Junior golf, San Marcos HS JV golf coach, Sandpiper Men's club and the Santa Barbara Motorcycle Club.
In the early 1960's, Bob convinced the airport authority to lease him some adjacent land off of Los Caneros Rd. to build a motorcycle racetrack and rider training facility. Having grown up in the families motorcycle business and later taking it over, Bob was a professional motorcycle racer from 1941-1955 ultimately earning an expert plate in T.T, road racing, flat track and speedway racing. Bob was also a past president and life member of the Santa Barbara Motorcycle Club and a lifetime member of the AMA. He was also a member of Masonic Lodge #192, Elks Lodge #613 and served during WWII in the US NAVY.
Bob went back to school in 1953 earning his degree and teaching credential from UCSB. Bob started his full time teaching career at San Marcos HS when the school opened in 1958 and retired after 28 years. Bob was the longtime PA announcer for San Marcos football, basketball and Track & field, known as "the voice of the Royals". The press box is named for him at Valley stadium.
After retiring, Bob devoted more of his time to golf mostly at the Sandpiper course where he served twice as the Men's club President and on the board for 12 years. It was at the Sandpiper golf course in 1979 that Bob met veteran Indy Car crew chief George Bignotti and a long friendship resulted. For 25+ years, Bob would travel to Indianapolis, Indiana each May to assist George as a crew member for the Indy 500. In 1983 the team won the Indy 500 with Tom Sneva as its driver.
Bob was most at home serving his community.
A celebration of life Open House will be held from 1-4PM on March 16, 2013 at the Masonic Lodge, 16 E Carrillo St, Santa Barbara. The family requests that any donations be made to the Santa Barbara Humane Society or a charity of your choice.