Bob Piper: Remembered for his passionate support of Bay Area transit and land use issues

Bob Piper, who was for a time Director of Transportation for Berkeley, died on March 5. Photo: Courtesy family

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Robert Roy “Bob” Piper on March 5, 2018 in Berkeley, California at the age of 86.

Bob was born on Nov. 23, 1931 in Oaklyn, New Jersey, the youngest son of Gerald and Gertrude Piper. Growing up in Princeton, New Jersey, Bob attended Lawrenceville High School and then went on to MIT where in 1954 he earned his BSc. and MSc. Degrees in Aeronautical Engineering. Bob continued his quest for further education by attending Stanford University where he obtained his MBA in 1969 followed by a Doctorate in Philosophy in 1971.

Bob was actively involved in the development of public transportation systems in both Canada and the Bay area and for a time was the Director of Transportation for the City of Berkeley, the community in which he lived for many years. Bob will be fondly remembered for his ongoing and passionate support of transit and land use issues in the SF Bay area.

Bob was an active supporter of the Sierra Club and loved hiking and other outdoor pursuits. He remained a generous and committed sponsor and supporter of many other worthwhile and notable causes.

Bob was a very thoughtful and philosophical person and was always quick with a joke or to make light of a situation. In his 80th year he wrote a letter describing his life to date as having been a fun trip… mostly.

He went on to say: “My intent is to acknowledge the people who have helped me along the way, teachers, friends, professors, colleagues, supervisors, and others. At every turn in my meandering, someone has come forward with support, guidance, inspiration, aid, encouragement, or the like. (Pat was one of those people. Talk about good luck!). How and why they came into my life is a delightful mystery. They made the ride worthwhile. I look forward with confidence to the mysteries that lie ahead and wish the same for you.”

Bob is survived by his nephew Roger Piper (wife Tammai, children Geoffrey and Lindsay); nieces Gail and Lesley Piper; Eric Hiss (wife Heike, children Finn and Aria); Amy Hiss (husband Patrick, son Cooper) and many friends and colleagues. He is preceded in death by his long-time partner, Patricia Boyd, and her daughter, Lisa Willow, and his brother and sister-in-law George and Jennifer Piper.

Bob’s wish was to be cremated. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.