Landscapes 15

Robert Risley

April 7, 1940 ~ May 29, 2020 (age 80)


Bob died peacefully on May 29 after a brave battle with cancer. He was the cherished husband of Claire for 47 years, the beloved father of Robert William Risley and the caring grandfather of Alex and Rachel. He was born in Seattle Washington to Helen Stetler Risley and Henry Risley. He was a graduate of the University of Washington where he studied accounting. He was a founding member of The Playboys (1957), a Seattle multicultural band that popularized the song “Louie Louie” in the Pacific Northwest. It was their arrangement that was later made very popular by The Kingsmen. Upon graduation he moved to San Francisco and joined the CPA firm of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte LLP). While he focused on his accounting career, he continued his musical pursuits with his fellow CPA’s as the pianist in the group known as “Commander Risley and the Current Liabilities”.

After leaving Deloitte, Bob started his own accounting/consulting practice. It was during this period of his life that he discovered his interest in period furniture and the decorative arts, beginning with a three month course at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He was a member of the American Friends of Attingham, as well as the American Friends of the Georgian Group and participated in several of their study trips in the United Kingdom.


 In 2005 Bob and his wife, Claire, moved to Alameda where he became active in the Alameda Museum and Alameda Architectural Preservation Society (AAPS), functioning as treasurer on the Boards of both organizations, as well as in other local Non-profit organizations. During this time he devoted a major effort to the renovation/restoration of their home, originally built in 1879.

Bob loved to travel, visiting many countries with the focus on architecture and the decorative arts. He loved fine dining with fine friends, but also knew where to find the best cheeseburger wherever he was.

Bob was a true gentleman and the impeccable host. He made a wicked martini. He is sorely missed by his family and friends including his cats Pandora and Moppet. Those wishing to make a donation in his memory may direct it to the Alameda Museum, Alameda Architectural Preservation Society or to Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter.  A memorial service is planned for the future. In the meanwhile he lives on in our memories and in our hearts.

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