I spent a lot of time with Robert, he was on the Bed Race Committee and other Grove groups, we went to lunch often, talked on the phone, I visited him often when he ran the Miami Film Office. He will be missed.
I remember one time when we were at an event, he liked my shoes. He said, "Nice wheels!" That always stuck with me. I think of that phrase often, I don't know why, but it makes me smile. Another time he saw I was being bullied at a meeting, it genuinely bothered him; after the meeting, he took me aside and told me to stand up for myself. When we would attend events, like chamber luncheons, City Hall meetings or parties, we always ended up being the last to leave, we had such a great time together.
In 2010, he received the Golden Coconut, a prestigious award from the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce. As a joke, AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt and I brought one of the painted coconuts planned for the Coconut Hunt later in the year. It was a shiny golden coconut. He took that as the award and cherished it, not realizing that that was not the actual award from the Chamber. Here he is holding it in the photo.
From his Facebook page:
To all of our family and friends, this is Robert's sister Maria Parente Miranda posting this. I'm writing this on behalf of my dear brother Robert who is now resting peacefully. He passed away this afternoon after a long and valiant struggle with cardiac disease. Robert's personality, charm and incredible whit touched so many of our lives. He had such a knack of bringing people of so many walks of life together and wanted everyone to know how dearly he held all of you in his heart. My family and I are currently making plans for his funeral services and we will share this information with you all soon. We are so grateful for your love, prayers and endless support.
Robert, your heart was as big as the sky. I love you, and I know you would say "I love you back."
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