September 29, 1934- January 6,1997
Robert (Bob) Distefano, a longtime Bay Area journalist, died yesterday January 6, 1997 of sudden internal bleeding at the age of 62.
Mr. Distefano was born and raised in Johnstown, Pa., began his career as a reporter for the Daily Advertiser newspaper in Lafayette, La. There, he met his wife, Lettie, a proofreader. He later worked at the Shreveport (La.) Times.
He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of California at Los Angeles and later served in the Air Corps. In 1966, he spent a year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he had won a journalism fellowship.
The next year, Mr. Distefano was hired by the Oakland Tribune, where he worked for 14 years.
In 1982, he bought the weekly Redwood City Almanac, serving as reporter, editor and publisher. His wife wrote feature articles and columns.
He was known for covering local issues in great detail, often publishing lengthy transcripts of heated city council meetings. He also ran twice for the City Council in Redwood City, promising to cover his own candidacy fairly.
Mr. Distefano underwent heart surgery twice in the past three years. Hours before his death, he was busy writing headlines for his paper. He died shortly after midnight at Sequoia Hospital.
''His dream was to own his own weekly paper, and at least he realized that dream,'' his wife said yesterday.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Distefano is survived by a brother, Anthony Distefano, and a sister, Carmela Page, both of Johnstown, Pa.