In Memory

Robert McCue - Class Of 1931

Bob McCue died in South Pasadena on October 9, 1984; the following article was taken from the November 4, 1967 edition of the Pasadena Independent Star-News.


Building, Safety Director Worked Up From Inspector

Robert D. McCue came to Pasadena looking for a job following World War II and as a result has directed the city's Department of Building and Safety for the last 11 years.  McCue said he just happened to arrive when the city needed a building inspector, "so I've been here ever since."

McCue is actually a native son of Los Angeles and has spent most of his life to date in South Pasadena.  He attended South Pasadena High School and Chaffey Junior College and was active in football and track at both.  Later he went to the University of Idaho where he majored in education with plans to become a coach.  "But they paid about $90 a month for that job up there at that time and I just couldn't see it." 

Finishing school in 1936, he returned to Southern California to look for work.  "Things were pretty rough in those days--it was the middle of the depression.  I got on in the oil fields for awhile and then in 1939 I joined the Navy."  Bob spent most of his duty in the Atlantic, attached to the battleship New Mexico.  He was an ensign when discharged.  Meanwhile, not long after joining the Navy, he had married the former Helen Sims, a native of South Pasadena.  The two recently celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary, he said.  "I guess that's a long time, but it hasn't seemed like it."  The McCues have two children, a daughter, Melinda, and son, Robert D. Jr.  Young McCue has just returned from 13 months in Korea and is now stationed at Ft. McArthur.

A big man with an easy-going smile, the director of Pasadena's building and safety admits to a continuing fondness for all sorts of sports.  He is an avid fan of football and baseball and personally plays golf every chance he gets although he says he is not a real golfer.  He likes watching golf on television, he added, though this is not always popular with the rest of the family.  "It ties up both the set and me for most of the day."

McCue is a member of the Pasadena Elks and was recently reappointed as treasurer of the International Conference of Building Officials at their 14th annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

During his years with the Building Department, McCue served in the capacity of senior building inspector under Walter Zuetell, now retired as director, and as assistant superintendent under John Behrens, who is now with the city of Fresno.  Most of the department's changes through the years have been in the matter of personnel, McCue said, particularly in the plan checking activity.  "Business is now what you would call normal," he said.  "A few years ago it was accelerated to the point where we could hardly keep up with it.  Just to keep up with the plan checking required overtime.  Right now you might say we are in a slump in some types of construction.  Where a few years ago it was all apartments, most of the present activity is in commercial construction, remodeling, and city construction made possible through bond elections."

Although he is a native of this area and has always made it his home, McCue confessed to occasionally considering a future move to some nice smog-free area like northern San Diego County.  He is also, he added, confronted with the possibility of a building problem of his own.  "If the freeway goes through South Pasadena, as it is now scheduled, it's going to take my home.  I think I'd rather rebuild than have a bridge built over the town and find myself living under it."

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11/21/10 07:23 PM #1    

Steve Ledder (1960)

Bob McCue was the father of my good friend since childhood, Dan McCue. I visited their home on Lyndon Street many, many times. Bob was always very cordial and not at all taken by himself. He had been a bigtime football star at SPHS - one of the best Tigers ever. Bob was easy going and well liked by everyone. I am still close friends with his son, Dan, who lives only a couple miles away from me. Bob and his wife, Helen, were two of the nicest people I have had the pleasure of knowing. In 2012, after I lobbied my head off, Bob McCue was inducted into the SPHS Athletic Hall of Fame. I accepted his trophy at the All Years Grand Reunion that year and was able to give it to his son, and my best childhood friend, Dan McCue.


Steve Ledder

SPHS Class of 1960

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