News · Hall of Famer, Bob Wendell, passes away

Robert (Bob) Wendell
July 15, 1939 – March 30, 2020
Bob (Bobby) Wendell stayed remarkably positive and active throughout a long illness before leaving his family, wonderful Cal teammates, and many, many friends. “Bobby”, as he was known throughout his athletic career, excelled in baseball and basketball from a very young age and loved to coach his peers and younger players. He starred in both sports at Menlo-Atherton HS. He was the 1957 Mid-Peninsula Athlete of the Year, and inducted into M-A Hall of Fame (1994) and San Mateo County/Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame. Bobby graduated from UC Berkeley where he played point guard on the 1959 NCAA Championship Basketball team and on the 1960 team that reached the NCAA final. He also lettered on the Cal baseball team, playing shortstop.
After graduation, Bobby joined legendary basketball coach Pete Newell and a select group of former Cal basketball players and traveled to Japan to help coach the 1964 Japanese Olympic team. He traveled an additional 6 months around Japan with that team, coaching and learning Japanese culture. In 1965, he accepted the Peruvian government’s offer to be the Peruvian National Basketball Coach for men and women.
Two days after marrying Karen Davidsen, Bobby and Karen left for Lima, where they lived for 2 years. After returning to the US, Bobby began a 30 year business career in wholesale apparel merchandising and sales. He coached his daughter’s Little League and son’s basketball teams. He became an accomplished tennis player and golfer. After retirement, Bobby spent several years teaching at Quimby Oak Middle School where he initiated a practical skills class for “at risk” boys. During the last 6 years, he organized and ran the first Allstars United Youth Basketball program, a non-profit after school and weekend program for boys and girls, grades 2 through 8.
Bobby is survived by his wife Karen Davidsen, daughter Linda Wendell Hsu, son-in-law Peter Hsu, son Robert Davidsen Wendell, daughter-in-law Katie Osumi, grandsons Axel Hsu and Jason Hsu, and granddaughter Sutton Wendell.

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Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on May 3, 2020.