Robert Vernon Wickens, Sr.
January 21, 1932 ~ October 28, 2019
Who’s heard of Strawn, Texas, the birthplace of Robert Vernon Wickens? With a 2010 population of 649 (down another year), he may be their most famous or at least most loved son. Big Bad Bob as he was know started out life in 1932 during the great depression and barely made it though his first winter. He grew, then grew some more to be a strapping 6’ 8” roughneck, working his way up the West Texas Oil Field industry ladder.
Starting his family with Sandy McCune on July 19, 1952 they lived in Brownwood, TX where Bob attended Howard Payne University studying to be a Baptist Minister. Their first child Karen was born in 1955 followed by a move to Odessa, TX to welcome their second child Steve in 1959. A few years, a few oil fields and missing his calling to the pulpit Bob relocated to Orange County, California to plant his flag at the top of Signal Hill with John M. Phillips Oil Tool Company.
Replacing his jeans for shorts, Big Bad Bob found he enjoyed the young executive - poolside life in Belmont Shores, California where he met his second wife June Hoffman with her inseparable best-friends/sisters Janelle & CK. As the relationship blossomed two new kids joined the family; Dana in 1967 & Robert in 1969 at Long Beach Memorial.
Signal Hill never being far from sight, the four siblings were often found playing in the pool or later a backyard bbq complete with pink playhouse & manicured lawn. The volatile oil industry of the ’70’s prompted a move to Ventura County for work. By 1982 Bob & June had chosen their final dream-home in Camarillo.
A new chapter began when Pancake Bob was ‘born’ in 1988 when transitioning from roughneck to restauranteur, IHOP owner to be exact. Bob & June owned two restaurants for over 20 years with Bob retiring after June’s passing in 2006. He was cared over the next 12 years by Dana, Cameron and Nicole who’s love made his golden years much brighter.
Recently, speaking with the family it became apparent Bob was a child of harder times, a hard-worker, and a provider. Many, if not all his life moves were triggered by his drive to earn a good living and provide for his family. Though life wan’t always easy for him or his family it was never boring and certainly as we’ve found, even funny. In his ‘retirement’ years his wit and sense of humor really grew, even though he missed his standup comedy calling, even at 88 years old he could get a room full of people laughing!
Big Bad Bob was preceded in death by his parents Ollie Roland & Neva G Wickens, wife June, sister Nan Solomon and in-laws Tom & Janelle Barnes. He’s survived by his in-laws CK & Ron Ferreira, son-in-law Eli Dafesh, daughter-in-law Nancy Wickens, and many amazing grandkids; Tiffany Wickens, Steve Wickens Jr, Brooke (Todd) Caviglia, Brittany Dafesh, Kristen Hawks, Thomas Hawks, Natalia Hawks, Lauryl Kuntzman, Allison Montes, Joshua Kuntzman, Cameron & Nicole and great grandkids; Autumn & Harper Caviglia, many other nieces, nephew and extended family from Texas to Pennsylvania, the characters mentioned above and his lil dog buddy Marty.
Please post pictures on social media with the hashtag #bigbadbobwickens
Funeral services will be held Friday - November 1, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
Conejo Mountain Funeral Home & Memorial Park
2052 Howard Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012
In lieu of flowers please donate to the American Heart Association in memory of Bob Wickens https://www2.heart.org/site/SPageNavigator/donatenow_heart.html
To send flowers to Robert's family, please visit our floral section.