Longtime Santa Ana City Councilman Bob Richardson, who also served as a Santa Ana Unified School District trustee, died this weekend at the age of 59, officials said Monday.

Richardson was on the City Council from 1990 until 1998 and also served on the city’s planning commission and historic resources commission. He served as a trustee on the Santa Ana Unified School District board from 1987 to 1990 and again from 2003 through 2016.

“During the over-three decades that I knew Rob, he continually demonstrated his dedication to and love of Santa Ana through his public service and advocacy,” said Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido. “He fought for whatever he believed in and he fought hard. He will be sorely missed.”

Richardson was born and raised in Santa Ana and earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA. He is survived by his wife, Bellavadey, and her three children.

“He loved Santa Ana more than anything in his life,” his wife said. “All I can say is that he loved the kids, he loved the town and he devoted his entire life to trying to make the town a great place for everyone to live.”

Richardson also worked as an assistant CEO for the county of Orange and as a county procurement officer, his most recent job.

Richardson was known as a Santa Ana historian and a train enthusiast as he served for 20 years on the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society.

Orange County Supt. of Schools Al Mijares praised him as someone who “loved Santa Ana deeply and exemplified servant leadership.”

Mijares said he knew Richardson for more than 20 years.

“The Rob I will forever remember possessed an enduring wit and brought a focused intensity to support student achievement and equity, but he was most beloved because he was genuinely interested in people and treated them with civility.”

Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education member John Palacio said Richardson’s expertise in the city’s history was treasured.

“He knew the history behind our buildings, the names of our schools, the names of our streets. He was Mr. Santa Ana,” Palacio said.

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