Bob Thomas, a commercial real estate broker who changed careers to journalism and went on to launch the Pleasanton Weekly, died Saturday at his home in Burlingame after a long illness at age 57, his paper reports. A couple of paragraphs from his obit:

    Mr. Thomas was a strong advocate of locally-focused journalism, always willing to leave regional and national stories to others while concentrating both the news and advertising columns on local readers. At a pre-publication meeting with then-Mayor Ben Tarver in early January 2000, Tarver told Mr. Thomas that while he looked forward to a new newspaper, he felt that it would be short-lived “because this is a small town and in six months there won’t be anything left to write about.”

    Mr. Thomas set out to prove him wrong, and he did.

The Pleasanton Weekly is part of the Embarcadero Publishing Company chain whose CFO, Mike Naar, said: “For those who knew Bob, his accomplishments come as no surprise … Even so, they pale in comparison to the grace, good-naturedness and intelligent practicality he brought to work every day. His sense of humor, his incredible optimism, and his evenness defined the remarkable prince of a human being Bob was. We will all deeply miss him.”

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Aug. 9 at First Presbyterian Church of Burlingame, 1500 Easton Dr. at the corner of Easton and El Camino Real. (Photo credit: Pleasanton Weekly)

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