Bob McBrian was a unique fixture at Ripon’s Veterans’ Museum.
Up until his passing at Doctors Medical Center on Dec. 17, Bob was literally the key to the museum —always close by for anyone making an unexpected visit. He lived just next door, keeping a thoughtful eye out for his mother Betty.
A longtime member of the Ripon Record family before it was sold to the Raymus Realty family, Bob could always be seen standing on the porch of the museum greeting old and new friends alike. He could give a history on just about any veteran whose photograph graced the walls of the onetime old city hall building in the downtown.
With a cock of his head and the squint of one eye, he would rattle of a complete biography of just about anyone a person needed to learn more about. He was a giving man who did the lion’s share of all the computer work relating to the veterans of the Ripon community. Bob could repair just about any computer and worked professionally as an electronics technician with the skills learned in the Air Force. Bob was a graduate of Ripon High School and of Modesto Junior College.
Bob also devoted much of his time in the development of the Veterans’ Wall with the names posted of those who have served from the community. Lives lost are represented with a gold stars next to their names. Inside the museum building are fighter planes hanging from the ceiling and racks of framed news articles about veterans mounted against two walls — much from the efforts of Bob McBrian.
He served as an assistant curator and a docent at the military museum as well as the city’s Clarence Smit Museum on Main Street.
Bob’s finest days were represented in the love for his mother after his Dad, Leo McBrian, passed away years ago. He was always there for her whenever she needed him — living close by in the rear of the home. Betty lovingly referred to his quarters as his “man’s cave.”
McBrian knew most all the old timers and the business owners in the community on a first name basis. He was a quiet and humble man with endless resources. A celebration of life is set for this “man among men” on Saturday, Dec. 27. To say he will be missed is an understatement in a salute to former Air Force Sergeant Robert McBrian for his service to his country and for continuing to serve through his sponsorship to his military museum in Ripon.
To contact Glenn Kahl email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3539.