In Memory of Robbie Vallon: Voices From Friends at PPI
Humble enough to know that I am not better than anybody, and wise enough to know that I am different than the rest. – Unknown
The author of the above quote never met Robert Vallon, but it perfectly encapsulates who he was and what he stood for.
Robbie, as he was known, was and remains a beloved member of our community at PPI Group. Our hearts go out to Robbie’s family, his friends, and the countless others who were lucky enough to experience his infectious personality and passion for life.
The first thing people noticed about Robbie was his smile. Always beaming from ear to ear, he greeted everyone from old friends to complete strangers with enthusiasm and warmth. Quick with a joke and a laugh, it was hard not to feel seen and appreciated when in Robbie’s presence.
His work as a Port Lecturer took him all over world, meeting new people and experiencing new adventures. His dedication to his career was evident to everyone who came to know him. He put his heart and soul into the things he felt passionate about and it elevated him well past average and into the extraordinary.
Some people just know how to savor each moment in life…a few days ago, we lost one of the few, best skilled at living it to its fullest. Loved, respected & admired by so many across the globe, at sea and on land. What an unexpected and sad loss for us all…. in celebration of you, Mr. Robbie Vallon, industry legend that you are…with gratitude, from all of us. Bon voyage and may you rest in peace, dear friend and colleague. xx
Here are some thoughts about Robbie from his friends and coworkers
He had a story about anything and everything and always spoke with an incredible passion that kept you wanting more. Fundamentally he was a gentle soul that loved our cruise ship industry and life overall, PPI was incredibly fortunate to have him on our team and in our family. More recently he attended the Alaska conference and was heading up shortly to join another ship, he saw everything as an opportunity and served as an inspiration and mentor to many in our industry.
He was only here in the office days ago bringing smiles to everyone with his stories and sharing his perspective on the breathtaking landscape of Alaska, a place he loved so much. He said that no matter what ship he was on, he just looked up each day and was grateful to be there.
His gratitude for life is perhaps the most powerful of all things we will remember him for. – PPI Group CEO Bill Panoff
We were always looking forward to Robbie’s visit. His big smile and bright personality just exploded as soon as he entered our little OPS corner. He was a true legend! We will miss him so much. – Eva
If you were to look up the word Passionate in the dictionary, you would find a picture of Robbie Vallon … because he was PASSIONATE about everything in his life. People, places, this crazy mixed up cruise industry. For as much as he gave unconditionally, he got back in spades. The heart of a child beat in the body of a man but that is truly from the place he lived life. Robbie had the ability to see things differently, to be open to the sights, sounds, smells … greeting each day as if it was a gift because that is truly how he saw life, a gift from God. Wise but innocent, brilliant but always open to new ideas, humble but with enough ego to get up on stage and in front of people that he never met, looking to inspire them just as he was inspired. The first with “thank you”, the first with a hug and a smile, the first to make you laugh with the worst jokes ever written and the first one to laugh at himself, just because he could.
I keep looking at my WhatsApp account and my pictures from Robbie, listening to his voice, willing to bring him back but knowing that it’s these efforts that will keep him alive and vibrant. Yesterday afternoon as I was talking to my husband about Robbie (he loved him too), the most intense rainbow beamed across the sky … we knew it was Robbie looking down at us telling us that “every-ting is coooool mahn” in that Jamaican accent that he would throw down from time to time. Nothing but love for a man who was a unique as they come. – Yvette