Robert “Bob” Vaughn Cohune
January 15, 1937-May 12, 2019
Resident of Truckee, California
A LIFE WELL LIVED
On the morning of May 12, 2019, Bob died peacefully at UCSF, surrounded by loved ones following a sudden illness. He was 82 years old.
The first of three sons born in Berkeley to Vaughn and Elizabeth (Crites) Cohune, his earliest memories were of WW2 blackout drills darkening the Bay, the pandemonium on VJ Day in Alameda, and the firing of a prized teacher during the Red Scare. He recalled riding the Berkeley Trolleys with his beloved Great Aunt Jenny to attend cultural events in Berkeley and at Cal. The family moved to Pleasant Hill for middle and high school, where he was an Eagle Scout, and developed his lifelong love of the mountains after hiking the John Muir Trail.
He joined the Air Force upon graduation, later working his way through U.C. Berkeley as a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railroad. He attended Boalt Hall before moving to Southern California to begin his family, and complete his J.D. from Southwestern Law School.
His early legal career was with the California Department of Transportation, where he worked on high-profile cases, including the establishment of the controversial Diamond Lane. In 1979, he moved his young family to Chester, Plumas County, where he established a private legal practice in the county seat of Quincy. Eventually, he moved to Truckee where he continued his private practice. On behalf of his clients, he took on modest, and formidable opponents with laudable success and marked passion. He successfully litigated cases related to employment discrimination, environmental protection, real estate and business disputes.
During his Truckee years, Bob got his instrument rated private pilot’s license, taught law classes at Truckee Meadows Community College, gained a love for music and theater and volunteered countless hours advocating for friends, family and community. His passion for living and genuine interest and concern for others was obvious to everyone. He served on the Board of Directors of Toccata, the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, and was a volunteer and advocate of the Lake Tahoe Music Festival, and Truckee Airshow.
A lifelong learner, wordsmith and political junkie, he relished spirited conversations at home over a beer with his family. He loved the outdoors, gardening, walking, reading, and entertaining. His infectious laugh, intellect, humor, and larger than life personality stood out, and were with him until the end.
Bob is survived by Marcelyn, his loving wife of 31 years; his son Kirk Cohune and his wife Jenner; his daughter Eileen Cohune Brown, her husband Mitchell, and their two children, Finnegan and Skylar; his brothers William Cohune, Paul Cohune; his uncle, James Cohune; his first wife, Kathleen (Cohune) Kelcey; and his stepchildren Brian, Alisha and Catrina Russell, and their children and grandchildren. He is predeceased by his parents, and his uncle, Joseph Sheeks.
Bob’s family would like to thank the nurses and doctors in the ICU at UCSF for their extraordinary care, particularly Dr. Berrahou, who helped him through the last phase of his life with sensitivity, compassion, and immeasurable skill.
A backyard celebration of his life will be held at his cherished home on the afternoon of July 27, 2pm to 5pm with a dedication at 3pm (15589 Archery View). Heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mountain Area Preservation Foundation or Toccata Tahoe Symphony and Orchestra.