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Bob's life revolved around the sea and bicycling. He was a product of the depression watching his father lose everything. Seeing the fear in his father's eyes of having to provide for a
family with nothing shaped his sense of being very frugal his entire life.
Bob was the longest continuous member of Balboa Yacht Club for 66 years. He lived in the second floor of the current Clubhouse for 3 years. In 1949 a sailboat, the cutter Topaz,
snapped its mast off the West end of Catalina as part of the Transpac race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. The boat was towed to South Shore Boat Yard in Newport Beach for refitting.
South Shore knew that Balboa Yacht Club needed a flag pole and they said come get the broken mast. The curvy 2 lane Pacific Coast Highway made it impossible to be brought to the
Club by land so Bob hopped into the Club's shore boat, had them put the mast in the water and towed it back to the Club. Being high tide he put the mast on blocks and as the tide went
out sanded and painted the new flag pole. Bill Ficker's father (also an architect) designed the footings and the new flag pole was raised at the Club where it remains to this day. A
plaque on the flagpole commemorates this bit of history.
Bob's early childhood experiences gave him his fugal nature. He believed in the theory that one man's junk was another man's treasures. He was always rescuing the "castaways" of
others throughout the city. His son once joked that during their home remodel he had to remind subcontractors to look first before throwing junk into the dumpster because Bob may be
inside looking for treasures. But then, if a neighbor ever needed a part, they knew Bob was there to help.
Always finding boats that were castaways, Bob refurbished them. One of many was a Wheeler 32 that he acquired for $175 in 1963. He made his oldest son, Steve, and his son's friend,
long time Newport resident, John Warjone silent partners to do all the work. The dry rot was so bad in the cabin sides that Bob put 8 foot sliding glass windows (which he had found 10
years earlier) in the cabin to replace all of the dry rot. His two early-college-age silent partners said his creativity this time had gone too far and they refused to be seen in the boat named
"Honey". Having lost his partners, eventually Honey was given to the Sea Scouts and it is reported that the boat later sank.
An active Real Estate broker in Newport Beach, Bob also ran the Sattler Mortgage Company. He held open houses, reviewed properties and conducted appraisals all by bicycle. He
became know by his nickname Bicycle Bob. Bob completed many Century Rides (100 miles) in Orange County plus all over the world. He always said the most memorable Century
was when three generations of family road with him on the Amtrak Century from the Anaheim train station to San Diego.
Bob's favorite form of transportation was his bicycle. When forced to drive, it was in his 1966 VW bus, "Big Red", which was a key part of the CdMRA as a "sign board", strategically
parked, advertising & supporting whatever the cause was at the time.
Bob was a founding member of CdMRA’s Board when the organization was started in 1987 by Phil Sansone. Bob was a fixture at every meeting and every event, and was a great
promoter of the CdMRA organization. After “retiring” from the Board, Bob remained an active member staying in touch through his neighbors and reading all our agendas, minutes and
newsletters. Bob's long-term commitment to CdMRA and its mission was appreciated by all.
The above information about Bob Sattler was submitted by Steve Prough, Bob's oldest son and a long-time CdM resident. Bob's long-time neighbor Liz Torelli who replaced Bob on
CdMRA's Board, also contributed..
Previously Profiled Residents
- Judge Robert Gardner
- Luvena Hayton
- Phil Sansone
- Mary Burton
- Isabel Pease
- Rex Brandt
- Wheeler North
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