Obituary: Robert Paul Weatherton
Robert Paul Weatherton, a longtime Claremont resident known affectionately as “Big Bob,” died on October 22, 2016 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 84.
He was born in 1932 in New Kensington, Pennsylvania to Paul and Ruth Weatherton. He was raised in Latrobe, Pennsylvania where he occasionally double-dated with Arnold Palmer. After their father was injured in a coal mining accident that left him a paraplegic, Bob and his brother Clay worked two jobs in order to maintain the family farm. It was while working his second job in construction that Mr. Weatherton was exposed to his lifelong professional passion: the concrete pump. His personal passion was his wife, Nancy McCullough, whom he married in 1954. Two sons, Dan and Tim, soon followed. Although he moved to Claremont in 1961, he remained an ardent fan of Pittsburgh sports teams, especially his beloved Steelers.
With a background in engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, Mr. Weatherton revolutionized the concrete pumping industry by developing new technology including the articulating boom arm for concrete pumps. Over the years, he became a sought-after manager for various concrete pump manufacturers and companies, not just because of his extensive product knowledge, but mostly due to his savvy and affable nature with people. Bob never met a stranger, and always made it a point to personally connect with each and every person with whom he came in contact.
In the early 1970s, Mr. Weatherton was instrumental in founding the American Concrete Pumping Association, which co-sponsored World of Concrete, the largest annual trade show in the world for concrete and masonry professionals. He was an expert in industry safety, crisis management and negotiations, and was a sought-after public speaker. Most of all, he took great pride in mentoring people who later went on to management positions in the concrete industry and helped many more open businesses in this new field.
In 1986, Mr. Weatherton went into business for himself and started the “Concrete Pump Store,” headquartered in Claremont. The “Store” was not only a broker for all types of concrete pump and material handling equipment, but also offered management and safety consulting services and company and equipment appraisals, as well as expert witness testimony. Concrete pumping companies all over North America contacted Mr. Weatherton on a regular basis for his expert advice in helping them better manage their businesses.
In 1991, Mr. Weatherton was the recipient of the American Concrete Pumping Association’s Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions toward the advancement of the concrete pumping industry. He also received the first-ever Presidential Award in 2014. That same year, he was named “the most influential person in the concrete industry” by Concrete Construction magazine and received the first Legacy Award from the World of Concrete. Last year, WOC established a scholarship fund, the “Bob Weatherton Award,” to keep this legacy alive.
Mr. Weatherton treasured his personal and professional relationships, and was a longtime member of Purpose Church (Pomona First Baptist). “He was known to all as a man of God,” his family shared. “If being a man of God means creating community and infusing relationships with truth and love, then he accomplished his purpose.”
Mr. Weatherton was also a founding member of the Claremont Club, a member of Redhill Country Club, a Shriner, a 32nd degree Mason and beloved customer to the businesses in the Claremont Village. Many Claremont residents know Big Bob as the man who walked the Claraboya Hill every day.
Bob was known as a loyal and faithful husband to his wife Nancy, who predeceased her husband in 2008 after a prolonged illness. In 2011 he married Jane Goodfellow, whom he met while walking the Hill. They happily shared the last five years of his life. He was heartbroken when his son Dan died suddenly in 2012. He is survived by his wife Jane Goodfellow, son Tim, grandchildren Kirk and Kelsey, brother Clay and nieces Sharon (Ken) DeMichela, Judy Kita and Carol Johnson.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Todd Memorial Chapel, 325 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont. Funeral services will be held on Friday, November 4 at 10 a.m. at Purpose Church (Pomona First Baptist), 601 N. Garey Ave., Pomona.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bob Weatherton Scholarship Award through Concrete Industry Management (email jackie.james@informa. com for information) or to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Foundation, 1798 N. Garey Ave., Pomona, CA 91767.