Obituary: Robert E. Petkin

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Robert (Bob) Petkin passed away in his home in Rancho Mirage on May 31, 2011. His beloved wife, Shirley Mae, was at his side.

Born Dec. 6, 1927, Bob was a self-made man who overcame a difficult childhood and became a successful real estate developer, but that success was just part of his life. As he put it, “I grew up poor in Beverly Hills.” Bob became a caring, generous husband, father and friend. A man of infinite kindness, humor and respect, he treated CEOs and busboys (in his youth Bob worked as a busboy) literally the same. He never forgot his origins and he never compromised his integrity.

He loved the written word and was often writing poetry or a play, not to sell, but for the pure pleasure of expressing his thoughts on paper.

He lived life to the fullest. He will be missed by his family and the friends who knew him for decades. He will also be missed by people who barely knew him, but who were the recipients of his daily kindness and concern.

In his own words: “Dream your dreams, hope your hopes, for good and happy things. Fill your life with beauty, for you an Angel sings. And when you watch your star each night, please smile back at me; otherwise, I cannot shine, until eternity.”

Bob is survived by Shirley Mae; his daughters, Janet and Lauren; his stepsons, Allen and Randy; and his sister, Shirlee P. Newman, as well as extended family who will fondly remember him.

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