Clarence Pinheiro Tribute
Clarence Anthony Pinheiro
June 20, 1938 – June 19, 2023
Modesto , California – Clarence Anthony (Bob) Pinheiro, passed away peacefully on June 19, 2023, surrounded by family, just one day shy of his 85th birthday.
Born at home in Stevenson, Calif, to parents Edward and Mary Machado Pinheiro, Bob joined the family that included older brother, Eddie Ralph Pinheiro. Bob graduated from Livingston High School in 1956, and married his high school sweetheart, Donna Cole.
He began his life-long love of radio broadcasting in 1958 by attending the William B. Ogden Radio Operational Engineering School in Burbank, CA. In the school’s 27 years (1946-1973) nearly 11,000 people “graduated” into careers in radio.
Bill Ogden and his school made a huge impression on Bob. As the Modesto Radio Museum’s first Web Master, Bob retrieved, organized, and displayed 280 photographs of the school, and chronicled the school’s history and success. Over 100 graduates have placed their comments in the Museum’s website, and Bill Ogden’s family graced Bob with letters of appreciation. As of 2023, search engine Google lists Bob’s work as the world’s on-line authority on the school.
Bob was a major radio personality at several Valley radio stations including KROG, KYOS, KNGS, KTRB and KBEE using the on-air name, Bob Sterling.
He moved to Modesto in 1960 and began a 30-year career as a deputy with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. The majority of those years were spent in the investigations division. Bob earned several awards of commendation, including the American Legion Albert L Pedersen Award and the American Legion Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Bob never abandoned his love of radio. He immersed himself in Amateur Radio, and earned his Ham Radio Operators License, WA6ZLO. For years, he encouraged and tutored others to do the same. Bob was a founding member of the Stanislaus Amateur Radio Association (SARA).
Bob had many friends, one of his closest was legendary singer-turned radio personality-turned broadcast owner, Chester Smith. Two months before Chester died, he called Bob, and said “let’s do lunch.” It was quite a lunch. Bob shared about that day with his buddy: My last visit with Chester.
He retired from the Sheriffs Department, and began his “part time” business, “Bob Sterling Mobile DJ,” which he proudly operated for many years, entertaining throughout the Central Valley, and accumulating dear friends along the way.
Even after hanging up his ear phones, he kept busy in broadcasting, and was a founding member of the Modesto Radio Museum Foundation. Websites were just beginning, and Bob took on the challenge, creating the Radio Museum’s beautiful website, Modestoradiomuseum.org. He was, indeed, the Museum’s WebMaster. In 2019, at the age of 81, Bob enrolled in an on-line college course on Enhancing Websites, just to increase his already impressive skills. Bob retired with the title, “Webmaster Emeritus.”
Bob is predeceased by his parents, brother, and loving wife of 59 years, Donna Clyne Pinheiro. He is survived by his three children, Terrance Pinheiro and wife Cathy, Cheryl Pinheiro Keener and husband Michael, Mitchell Pinheiro and wife Stephanie. Grandchildren Matthew Pinheiro and wife Kendall, Chase Keener and wife Alexis, Colin Keener and wife Alyssa, Michael Pinheiro, Ashley Pinheiro, Clayton Keener, Cydney Keener, Grant Pinheiro and Mackenzie Pinheiro. Four great grandchildren and two more on the way.
Private interment was held at Acacia Memorial Park, Modesto. Remembrances may be made to the Modesto Radio Museum to help build and operate the museum inside the Graffiti USA Classic Car Museum.
–Modesto Bee, July, 2023, along with contributions from the Modesto Radio Museum.