Robert Tsutomu Kobata
April 17, 1937 – August 18, 2020
Robert “Bob” Tsutomu Kobata, 83 year old, born in Long Beach, Calif., resident of Chatsworth, passed away peacefully on Aug. 18, 2020.
Bob was survived by his wife, Betty; Sons, Matt and Tim Kobata; grandchildren, Ellie, Emma, Ollie, Mimi, and Jake; Sisters, Tsuru, Emi and Nobu.
Bob was born to Tadao and Toshiye Kobata and spent his early years in Terminal Island. During WWII he was interned with his family at Manzanar. After the war he grew up in Long Beach and graduated from Long Beach Poly. He attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and earned a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and earned a Master’s from USC.
He worked as Aerospace Engineer for Rocketdyne for close to 40 years. As a stress analyst on space shuttle main engines he was nominated for the engineer of the year in 2001 by NASA. Bob was very involved with his church (West Valley United Methodist). He enjoyed fishing trips to the Sierras and deep sea adventures with friends and family. Spending time with his family and friends was important to him. He was involved in the “Manzanar Fishing Club” documentary that told the story of internees at Manzanar sneaking out of camp to go fishing. His father Tadao was one of the men depicted in the story. Bob was a supportive father and caring grandfather. He was always thinking and doing for others. A quiet man, kind, considerate, and generous person. A family friend said “who would imagine such a quiet, unassuming man could have such an impact.”
His other hobbies include Pheasant hunting and working with his hunting dogs, photography, picture framing, woodworking and cooking. He enjoyed watching and attending Dodgers and Lakers games with his family and friends. Bob was a member of the Boy Scouts, JACL and JANM.
A private burial service was held at Pacific Crest Cemetery, officiated by Rev. Karen Murata of Chatsworth West UMC.
www.fukuimortuary.com (213) 626-0441