San Francisco Chronicle
October 21, 1925 - February 27, 2023
Robert (Bob) Moncrieff of Monte Sereno, California, passed away peacefully on February 27, 2023 in Oakland, California at the age of 97. Bob will be lovingly remembered for his kind nature, rare sense of humor, dedication to family and friends, love of the natural world, creativity, and service as a WWII soldier and pediatrician in private and public practice.
Born in Elmira, New York to Veon and Agnes Moncrieff, Bob later moved with his family to West Hartford, CT. He spent his youth exploring local fields and forests. Rumor has it he played hooky from Kingswood Oxford School to do so.
Bob enlisted and served in WWII in the 1277th US Army Corp of Engineers, participating in the liberation of Vianden, Luxemburg. He attended Harvard University (where he contributed cartoons to the Harvard Lampoon) and Tufts University Medical School, graduating with honors in Pediatrics. He met Lora Lee Lutes, a young social worker, at Boston City Hospital where he was doing his residency. After they married in 1958, the couple moved to Los Gatos, CA where they put down roots and raised three children. Bob, along with three colleagues, established one of the first pediatric practices in Los Gatos. He cared for innumerable children whose families continue to remember his gentle ways. He later worked in clinical pediatrics for Santa Clara County.
Bob was most at home in nature, leading family and friends on backpacking and skiing adventures. His seaside mussel-gathering feasts have become legendary. He was a fly fisherman, a mushroom hunter, a bird watcher, and a dipper in oceans and streams.
An artist and a writer as well, Bob painted watercolors of places he loved and made wood carvings of favorite animals. He wrote and illustrated Anglerobics, an irreverent and humorous take on the health benefits of fishing.
In later years, Bob volunteered for the Midpeninsula Open Space District where he created artwork, staffed the Russian Ridge Preserve nature center, and led students on hikes. A tireless advocate for forest preservation and putting and end to clearcutting in California, Bob penned 74 letters to the editor (LTE), 44 of which were published in the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and other newspapers since 2012 alone. The Sierra Club’s Forest Protection Committee modeled their training program for LTE-writing after his unique approach.
Bob was preceded in death by wife Lora Lee Moncrieff. He is survived by children Diane Moncrieff, Scott Moncrieff, and Alison Moncrieff; daughter-in-law Laura Moncrieff; sons-in-law Jonathan Vlaming and Dave Nash; grandchildren Ian, Nora, Forest, and Duncan; brother-in-law Chris Lutes; and many nieces and nephews. A party to celebrate Bob will be held later this Spring. Donations are suggested to the Sierra Club or the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.