PALMDALE – City of Palmdale officials were deeply saddened to learn that former Mayor, City Councilmember, and one of the City’s “Fifty Grand Men” passed away this week.
Dr. Robert “Bob” St. Clair died Tuesday, May 12. He was 91.
An Antelope Valley resident since 1932, St. Clair grew up in Pearblossom. After leaving the Valley to study optometry, he returned in 1956 and opened his practice in Palmdale.
Almost immediately upon his return, St. Clair became involved in civic projects, including serving as chairman of the incorporation committee that succeeded in gaining Palmdale status as a city in 1962.
That committee was made up of more than 50 individuals who each contributed $100 to help pay for the incorporation effort that gave Palmdale its own voice to chart its destiny. Collectively they became known as the “Fifty Grand Men.”
After the City’s incorporation, St. Clair held a City Council seat in 1966. He resigned to fulfill his commitments on the Palmdale School District board where he served for 16 years.
St. Clair also served on the City’s Planning Commission in the 1970’s. In 1972, he was elected to the City Council where he remained until 1984, serving as Mayor from 1973 to 1978 and again from 1982 to 1983.
Among the projects he worked on during his years of service include the construction of Palmdale City Hall, Chimbole Cultural Center, and Palmdale City Library.
He also was actively involved creating Palmdale’s Sister City program with Poncitlán, Mexico.
The City of Palmdale renamed greenbelt on Sierra Highway the Dr. Robert St. Clair Parkway in July 2000.
St. Clair was also an aviation enthusiast who built two airplanes and even taught at the Palmdale Learning Plaza, helping students construct a plane.
A Memorial Service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 18, at Chapel of the Valley Mortuary, located at 1755 East Avenue R in Palmdale.
[Information via press release from the city of Palmdale.]