Robert Darmsted |

Robert Darmsted

Robert “Bob” Godfrey Darmsted, a longtime resident of Penn Valley, died peacefully of natural causes on Sept. 29, at home. He was 93.

According to his wishes, no services will be held.

Mr. Darmsted was born March 27, 1914, in Emeryville. Calif., and grew up in the Oakland Hills with his four brothers.

He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, before joining the United States Navy, in which he served as a navigator and officer until the end of World War II. While in the Navy, Mr. Darmsted developed a the pressure navigation system, which was used by flyers during bad weather for the duration of the war.

After the war, Mr. Darmsted went to work for Waterman Airlines as the chief navigator in the United States and Costa Rica. In 1946, he moved his family to Costa Rica, where he ran his own aircraft repair company. He moved back to California in 1963, where he worked as a construction estimator for Kaiser Permanente until his retirement at age 77.

Mr. Darmsted was an avid reader and writer, and had many of his short stories published in local newspapers in Costa Rica. Those who knew him remember his colorful stories about his interesting life.

Mr. Darmsted is survived by his daughters, Judy Hetland, of Concord, Calif., and Linda Darmsted, of San Leandro, Calif.; daughter and son-in-law Dianne and Peter Fraczek, of Penn Valley; grandchildren Lisa Rohrbach, Kevin Fraczek, Eric Hetland and Scott Fraczek; five great-granddaughters; and two brothers.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Gloria, on April 18, 2007.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice of the Foothills, 2399 Nevada City Highway, Grass Valley, CA 05045.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User