'He was an incredible person to all of us'

Robert Sattler, long-time CdMRA board member and avid cyclist and sailor, is remembered by family and friends. He was 90 when he lost his battle to bladder cancer.

August 20, 2011|By Sarah Peters,

NEWPORT BEACH — Friends and family of Robert Sattler filled the pews of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church on Saturday morning to celebrate the life of the well-respected community figure.

Sattler, a long-time Corona del Mar Residents Assn. board member, cycling enthusiast and avid sailor, died Aug. 1. He was 90.

Sattler, known as "Biking Bob," died from bladder cancer at his Newport Beach home surrounded by friends and family, according to his obituary that ran in the Daily Pilot on Aug. 4.


He was remembered as a "great inspiration" who possessed a "heart of gold," said family members during the hour-long service at the Corona del Mar church.

"He was an incredible person to all of us," said Rob Prough, son of Nancy Prough, whom Sattler married in 1962.

"He was a self-made man," Rob Prough continued. "He was a great man, a great friend, a great husband, a great father and a loving grandfather to us all."

The Lafayette, Ind., native and long-time owner of Sattler Mortgage Company moved to California when he was 3. Later, he volunteered in the U.S. Navy as a young adult at the beginning of World War II.

Sattler returned to Orange County and settled in Newport Beach after suffering a traumatic brain injury during an attack on his ship, the USS Requisite, in the South Pacific. He became a member of the Balboa Yacht Club in 1945, where he lived temporarily in an upstairs apartment at the clubhouse while recovering from his injury.

"Those who knew my father knew that he loved bicycling," said step-daughter Sara Hyatt. "But if you asked him about sailing, you would have realized that his world centered around the ocean."

Sattler was an active sailor and member of the BYC for 66 years.

"The first lesson that I learned from my grandfather was nothing like how to drive a stick shift," said step-grandson Aaron Riddle. "It was how to strip varnish of a boat."

While it seemed like useless information when he learned it at age 14, Riddle appreciates the practical wisdom as an adult, he said.

"It's something that I'll always have with me and know how to share," he continued.

In addition to sailing, Sattler was also an avid cyclist up to his death. His passion for cycling and meeting new people took him all over Orange County and the globe, family said.

Sattler is survived by his wife Nancy Prough, four step-children— Steve Prough, Carol Prough, Sara Hyatt and Rob Prough — nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Balboa Yacht Club Maritime Sciences and Seamanship Foundation.

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