Celebration of life set for Bob Crow, Long Beach Pride co-founder

Bob Crow Long Beach Pride celebration of life

Bob Crow, left, and his husband, Tony Almeida-Crow, participate in the Long Beach Pride Parade on Aug. 6.

A celebration of life for Bob Crow, one of the founders of Long Beach Pride, will take place Saturday.

“A tribute fitting for an icon, “Bob’s Farewell Salute,” will be a commemoration of a remarkable journey filled with love, advocacy, and unwavering dedication to the LGBTQ+ community,” according to a press release from Long Beach Pride.

Crow, 78, died in September after a lengthy battle with lung cancer.

Members of the public are invited to gather at 10:15 a.m. at Bixby Park on First Street, between Cherry and Junipero avenues, in their vehicles behind the Long Beach Pride float for a funeral procession.

Tony Almeida-Crow, Bob’s husband, and Bob’s ashes will ride on the float, which will head west on Broadway on its way to Harvey Milk Promenade Park and Equality Plaza for an 11 a.m. service.

“People are encouraged to stand along Broadway and wish Bob a final farewell,” said Long Beach Pride President Tonya Martin.

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Harvey Milk Park “will be a space for reflection, remembrance, and the honoring of Bob’s monumental contributions,” the press release said.

Afterward, a reception will take place at nearby Hamburger Mary’s, which will serve free “Bob’s Burgers” for guests.

Parking is available at the structure next to Harvey Milk Park.

Crow, who made his last public appearance at the Long Beach Pride Parade last month, was diagnosed with stage four cancer last year.

Crow, along with Judith Doyle and Marylin Barlow, founded Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Inc. in 1983. The nonprofit then organized the city’s inaugural Pride Parade & Festival in 1984.

Over the past 40 years, Long Beach Pride has become one of the largest and most popular LGBTQ Pride celebrations in the nation, though its popularity has waned in the past couple of years.

The Long Beach Pride nonprofit celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.

Crow was the last surviving founder of Long Beach Pride. Barlow died in 2015 and Doyle died in 2022.

Crow is credited with helping pave the way for generations to express their authentic selves.

“There are no words to heal the void in our hearts with Bob’s passing,” Tonya Martin, Long Beach Pride president, said in the same statement. “The only thing we can do is to remember that within this void lives the legacy of his vision and work. A legacy so strong that it changed the very fabric of our city and gave us a place to live freely and to say, ‘I am who I am’.”

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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