Robert Pearce, a long-time member of the Mariposa family passed away in December 2014.
Robert performed two tours of duty at Mariposa Cruises, first in 1989-1994 and again in 2008-2014.
Initially hired as Executive Chef, Rob was bright, talented and full of cocky energy. He was brash, wiry, and fueled by coffee, nicotine, & confidence.
Inquisitive (some might say an insatiable appetite of inquisitiveness), it soon became apparent that Rob would take on far more responsibilities than his job title. He became as involved in the marine operation as he was in negotiating the cost of chicken. He knew where things were stored and when they were installed. His rolodex and later his mobile contact list was an impressive resource of people and products. He possessed a very big key ring, and it is likely that he had keys to our cars and houses too.
When Rob returned for his second tour of duty at Mariposa, he had less hair and was a little rounder. The twinkle in his eye, his smile, & love of working on the boats were exactly the same. And as a bonus, he still had keys to everything.
Robert had the answers to everyone’s questions and when he didn’t, his best guesses were pretty convincing. Robert was fond of finding efficiencies; he was a ‘Master Trouble-Shooter’. Like some Mariposa oracle, he could foresee trouble long before the rest of us. He could recall costs, margins, percentages, & names with uncanny precision.
Rob didn’t like the spotlight but was always present in the background. He wasn’t the kind of person to be stuck on a Job Title or ‘regular work days’. He did not follow a work week, but he was here when he needed to be, and made sure all went well under his watch. In the rare times when he wasn’t on site, he took calls at all hours of the day and night. He fed us, he calmed us, he mentored us, and he exasperated us. He had a wonderful sense of humour, and possessed a sharp wit.
With time (as often happens), Rob grew into a sort of “warm and fuzzy” but still no-nonsense guy. When days were long, the temperature hot, and the work difficult, Rob’s comforting words of encouragement were “Suck it Up Princess”. He encouraged people to give their best simply by not accepting anything less. If he liked you (which was usually determined by your approach to work), he would go to the end for you.
He could impress the most tightly-wound, hyper-critical customer and execute a VIP tasting with flair. He could talk a drunk out of a fight, and cost a menu in seconds. He would help everyone, and therefore he helped a lot of people. He was a mentor to many. He would say that he did not care if he was popular or not, and yet he was. He was a force. When the times dictated he practice a political correctness and choose less ‘spicy’ language, he’d mock this with a mischievous look in his eye and a few swear words.
The old adage “Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life” rang true for Rob. He brought more energy to work than the average person. He would never have been ‘old’, even if he had the opportunity to live more years. He was young at heart and loved a challenge. For Rob, the busier the better, at work. When Rob was asked if he was losing his mind with busy-ness or if he was having the time of his life, Rob responded with, “I am going with both”.
Fair winds and following seas, Robert.
Our thoughts are with Robert’s family and friends at this time of sorrow.