Robert James Pentz, 87, a pioneer in the South California self-storage market, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on Feb. 25. Born Jan. 8, 1924, in Detroit, he was a resident of Sun City, Calif., at his death.
Bob was the owner of Alessandro Mini Storage, Moreno Valley’s first self-storage facility. He was also the owner of B & D Mini Storage in Riverside, Calif., and a member of the national Self Storage Association. An avid reader and storyteller, he published a book titled, “Do It Yourself Mini Storage.”
After serving as a signalman in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Bob married Dorothy Snodgrass in Detroit on April 21, 1945. He completed high school at the age of 38 and graduated from California Baptist University in 1984.
Bob was involved in the initial renovations of the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside, Calif., during the early 1980s and developed the Norco Country Mall. Bob’s projects over the years included building the monument signs at California Baptist College and Riverside Christian School, the stone on Valley of the Falls Community Church, many projects at the Jurupa Cultural Center and Mission Inn, and numerous fountains and fireplaces. In 1987, he received the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award given by The Press Enterprise.
Bob served as a volunteer chaplain at the California Youth Authority and Spadra Hospital, working with the mentally challenged. He served on various boards including Riverside Christian School, BRASS, Masonry Owners Association, Gideons and others. He also served on the board of trustees of California Baptist College and Friends of the Mission Inn. He was active in many churches, including Canyon Lake Community Church. He was instrumental in establishing the Harbor Chaplain Ministry in Newport Beach, the Stanley Collins Radio program of Forest Home Christian Conference Center, and Teen Challenge at Benedict Castle.
Bob’s commitment to education resulted in the establishment of many student scholarships. Because of his love of tennis, he donated the Tennis Center at California Baptist University.
After his retirement, Bob started a “widow” ministry doing handyman work for the needy. His hobbies included collecting bolo ties and vinyl records, tennis, bowling, singing, square dancing and frequenting thrift stores.
A memorial service honored Bob on March 12. He was interred at Riverside National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Bob Pentz Scholarship Fund or the School of Business Building Fund at California Baptist University, 8432 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, CA 92504.