Obituary: Robert Timothy Constantine
Father, teacher, master gardener, tireless volunteer
Tim Constantine was born in Redlands, California on April 4, 1946 to Bob and Betty Constantine. The family lived in Redlands, Victorville, La Verne, and Caruthers, California, before settling in San Dimas.
Tim attended La Verne Heights Elementary School and Bonita High School, graduating in 1964. While at Bonita, he was an outstanding student and athlete. He competed in basketball, cross country and track, setting a school record in the 800 meter run. He also held offices in student government.
He attended University of Redlands from 1964 to 1968. At Redlands, he ran cross country and track and was a member of the Kappa Sigma Sigma fraternity. In his junior year, he was tapped for membership in Omicron Delta Kappa, a national honor society recognizing superior leadership and exemplary character. In his senior year, he received the Collis Steere Award, given to the senior athlete with the highest grade point average.
It was also at Redlands where he met a classmate named Peggy Rivers, who would become his beloved wife of 52 years. Following graduation, both attended University of La Verne to earn their teaching credentials. After graduation from La Verne in 1969, they married on June 15 and joined the Peace Corps. The couple served in Brazil from 1970 to 1972 in a program dedicated to planting gardens in elementary schools. He also taught English at the local high school.
Upon their return from Brazil, he began his teaching career in Pomona. He joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves in December 1972 and returned to teaching in 1973, this time in Covina. He taught history and social studies for the Charter Oak Unified School District for 34 years, both regular and International Baccalaureate classes. He also coached cross country, track, soccer and basketball. He retired in 2007.
On February 7, 1976, Peggy gave birth to a baby boy, and “Tim and Peg” became “Tim, Peg and Dave.” He was a devoted father, coaching Dave in AYSO soccer and later the Claremont Stars soccer club. He instilled in his son his love of fishing, backpacking, and camping.
He remained active in retirement and continued to give back to the community. He volunteered for Inland Valley Hope Partners, first with his mother in their San Dimas food pantry, and then in a variety of additional capacities. He served on the board of Hope Partners from 2013 to 2021, including two years as chairman. He helped facilitate the partnership between Hope Partners and Amy’s Farm, where he recruited, oriented, and oversaw volunteers. He helped build the South Pomona Community Garden at a local church and supervised volunteers there. In 2015 the nonprofit recognized him with its highest honor, the Hope Partners Founders Award.
In 2012 he created The Constantine Family Garden and Orchard on the grounds of the old Constantine family home in San Dimas. “Dedicated to grow and give,” the purpose of the garden was to grow fruits and vegetables and give them away to the hungry through Hope Partners’ four food pantries. Eventually, the garden was on the list of freshman orientation activities for University of La Verne. Monthly work days drew volunteers from various organizations, as well as community members and families.
In 2017 he became a University of California Certified Master Gardener. It was one of his proudest achievements. As a master gardener he was a member of the orchard team, taught Grow LA Victory Garden classes at Fairplex, organized tabling events in Claremont, and spent many hours in the hot sun teaching gardening in the master gardener booth at the L.A. County Fair.
When he wasn’t gardening, he was traveling with Claremont Senior Bicycle Group, where he formed lasting friendships. His love of fly fishing also took him all over the west, from the Big Horn River in Montana and the San Juan River in New Mexico to the Green River in Utah and the Kern River in the Sierra Nevada. He and his son also fished the Shenandoah River in Virginia and the Kenai River in Alaska. His home river was the Owens, in Bishop, California.
He was a member of Trout Unlimited, The Long Beach Casting Club, Claremont United Church of Christ, The Audubon Society, Sustainable Claremont, California Botanic Garden and Claremont Garden Club.
He is survived by his loving wife, Peggy; son, Dave; sisters Zora Charles, Priscilla Constantine, and Margaret Grasman; and nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 23 at Claremont United Church of Christ, 233 W. Harrison Ave., Claremont.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Inland Valley Hope Partners at www.inlandvalleyhopepartners.org, or by check to 1753 N. Park Ave., Pomona, CA 91768.