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Mr. Robert "Bob" Charles Lewis

Mr. Robert "Bob" Charles Lewis
  • August 3, 1935 - January 11, 2018
  • La Quinta, California

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“Steve and KarenI enjoyed my time working for Bob Lewis Automotive. Family as your Parts Department Manager at San Jose and the Newark locations. I...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: Roger Horrocks - CLARK FORK, ID

“Dear Karen and Steve, After reading your fathers Obituary, what great accomplishments he achieved and what a wonderful life he lived. I wish you...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Jody Turner - Santa Cruz, CA

“Steve, I am so sorry to hear about your dad...he was a good man and Dick had the utmost respect for him...You were the one he always thought would...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Becky Winiecki - Aptos, CA

“Thinking of Bob and Saying a prayer for family and for Ginny! Enjoy those beautiful golf courses in heaven, hit em long and straight and don't forget...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Steve Kay - Palm Desert, CA

“Thinking of you all and keeping you in my prayers daily ”
5 of 5 | Posted by: Joseph and Cynthia Fogarty - CA


Robert "Bob" Charles Lewis died peacefully in Rancho Mirage, CA on January 11, 2018 at the age of 82.

Bob was born on August 3, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois to John & Thelma. As a young boy in Chicago their family did many things together; going to the beaches along the coast of Michigan, sporting events and visiting his grandparents. Growing up he delivered newspapers, worked at a local hamburger drive-in and had his first job in the car business at "Z" Frank Chevrolet. As many would know Bob, his favorite food was a cheeseburger. He welcomed with former wife Yvonne (Larsen) Lewis two children, Karen and Steve; who both grew up to work closely with their father in the car business. He joined the army in 1954 and was stationed in Korea in the 11th Air Force, as a paratrooper.

After moving to California in 1958, Bob began working for Coyle Billings Chevrolet and knew right away this is what he wanted to do for his career. He graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Marketing. In 1970, he bought into Atlas Volkswagen in San Francisco and a few years later started his first owned and operated Volkswagen store in San Jose, California. He continued to expand and had dealerships in Santa Cruz, San Diego, and Newark, California. Later to become known as Bob Lewis Automotive Family as he bought Franchises for Suzuki, Hyundai, and Lincoln-Mercury. His son Steve was his business partner and daughter Karen a computer engineer at the company. It was truly a family business and one of his life long goals to own and run his own stores. He had over 50 years of experience in the car business and was awarded top Volkswagen dealer in the US for multiple years and one year being recognized as the number one store in America. In 2000, he received the TIME Magazine Quality Dealer Award, which recognizes outstanding new car dealers for exceptional performance in their dealerships and distinguished community service.

Bob was very active in his community and supported throughout his life the American Cancer Society, Police Athletic League, Peninsula Children's Center, Charter Auxiliary, the Arthritis Foundation, among many other civic contributions. Bob also gave back to his local community and was rewarded by his work to raise awareness of drug abuse problems and programs at Los Gatos High School, CA. Bob served on many of the Dealer Council Boards, Silicon Valley Automotive Association, President of La Rinconada Country Club, and was an active member in the Silicon Valley Wine Club.

After retiring, Bob went to the Palm Springs area to look for a home; he really loved the desert. There he met a friend Ginny Becker, who he knew for 30 years, and a relationship naturally started. They enjoyed another 10 years together playing golf, traveling, enjoying wonderful friends, family and very good wine.

Bob is survived by his partner, Ginny Becker; children, Karen Lewis-Gladgo and Steve Lewis; step-daughters, Nicole Perkins and Nancy Mason; grandchildren, Bob Lewis, Mary Lewis, Kaelynn Lopez, Danielle Lewis, Katie Lewis, Bridget Lewis, Tara Perkins, Reed Perkins, Sacha Mason, Jade Mason, Viggo Mason; siblings, Richard Lewis, Jack Lewis and Barbara Gardner; and two great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, John and Thelma Lewis.

A funeral is scheduled for 1pm on Jan 29, 2018 at Forest Lawn Chapel, with a reception to follow at Mountain View Country Club. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The family would like to thank Eisenhower Hospital for their beautiful care to Bob during his last few days.