SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — The city of Santa Ana lowered its flags to half-staff in memory of former city councilman and Santa Ana Unified School District trustee Rob Richardson, who died this weekend at 59.

(credit: City of Santa Ana)

Santa Ana city and school officials on Monday said Richardson died Sunday of natural causes.

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Richardson was a member of the Santa Ana City Council from 1990 until 1998, and also served on the city’s planning commission, historic resources commission and the Santa Ana Unified School District board of trustees from 1987 to 1990 and from 2003 to 2016. He was also the current president of the Santa Ana Public Schools Foundation Board of Directors.

“Rob was a Santa Ana guy through and through,” Councilman Phil Bacerra said in a statement. “Rob knew and appreciated our city’s history. Whether it was as an elected official or as a concerned resident, Rob dedicated himself to making Santa Ana a better place.”

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He was lauded as an expert on Santa Ana history and was described as an avid train aficionado, being a 20-year member of the Santa Fe Railway Historical Modeling Society. A courtyard at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center is named in his honor.

“Rob not only chronicled much of Santa Ana’s past, but was an important part of its history,” Santa Ana Councilman Vicente Sarmiento said in a statement. “He served the public with integrity first as a City Councilmember, and then as a Trustee for the School District. He will be missed for his leadership and gentle way.”

Richardson was born and raised in Santa Ana, earning his bachelor’s degree close to home at UCLA. He is survived by his wife, Bellavadey, and her three children.

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“He loved Santa Ana more than anything in his life,” Bellavadey Richardson said in a statement. “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.