September 8, 1948 ~ November 3, 2011
Robert W. Dees, Junior (1948-2011)
Rob Dees of San Pedro, California, passed away November 3, 2011 at his mother's house in Torrance from complications of colon cancer. Rob was born in Greenville, Alabama in 1948. He was two months premature and spent eight weeks as the first occupant of the hospital's new incubator. His father's Air Force career took the family to Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Montgomery, and then to the Hollywood Riviera section of Torrance in 1956. Rob graduated from South High School in 1966 and Troy State University in Troy, Alabama in 1974. He worked in radio ad sales, at the Torrance Men's Shop, the City of Torrance and the State Employment Development Department, and as a legal documents processor. But mostly he lived life. Rob's lifelong interests included surf and car culture and music--especially live music. He was a regular at Redondo Beach's Sweetwater nightclub and the beach at Sacred Cove in the 70s and 80s. He had a large collection of surf memorabilia and vinyl records. He was a talented artist and as a kid would decorate his possessions with stylized drawings. He was perplexed years later to realize that this practice had destroyed the EBay value of many of his treasures. He was particularly fond of the three Opel automobiles he owned over the years--a yellow station wagon, a red GT and a dark blue 1900. He managed to transition from a hippie worldview to right wing politics as he aged, eclipsing even his father's conservatism. He had a dry wit and a huge vocabulary, was a voracious reader of history, and wrote many letters to the editor under the pseudonym Thomas Paine. He could turn the answer to a yes or no question into a 20 minute story, studded with original turns of phrase, delivered in the Southern drawl he cultivated while in college. He described himself in his last months as looking like a size medium elephant in an XXL elephant suit. In June, dozens of his friends from around the world joined him at a party thrown in his honor by good friends Mike Cekalovich and Debbie Klett. He had the opportunity to visit with people he hadn't seen in years. And in September, he celebrated his birthday at Terranea, again surrounded by his friends. Rob is survived by his mother Edith and sister Edie of Redondo Beach. He was predeceased by his father, Lt. Col. (retired) Robert W. Dees. The family wishes to thank sincerely Rob's many faithful and devoted friends who called, visited, entertained, transported and fed him during his illness. Thanks also to his hospice nurse Eileen Miller and his mother's caregivers April and Sonia, who bestowed many kind favors on our curmudgeon. We love you, Rob. You were one of a kind and have left a huge hole in our hearts.
Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle