Robert Hector Rossiter 82, born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, went home to his Lord on May 22, 2021. A resident of Pyatt Arkansas since 1995.
He was a colorful character. A Boat Captain of ferry, power and sailboats, a pilot, a treasure hunter, a race car driver and builder and a sailor of the South Pacific!! He loved to share tales of his adventures!
In his early years he held many titles and occupations including: Drag Car builder and Champion Racer, Ferry, power and sailboat captain, small plane pilot, deep sea fishing charter captain, treasure hunter and heavy equipment operator.
Bob held the title of Master on North Shore Ferries Limited in Auckland, NZ. He was a Commercial Captain for passenger vessels up to 130 feet and a Charter Boat Captain in Tonga Islands. Total boat delivery mileage was about 48,000 miles.
Bob was the co-founder and co-editor of New Zealand Hot Rod Magazine as well as the builder and driver of New Zealand’s Champion Hot Rod Dragster Car ‘Pirate’. Bob was celebrated at New Zealand Hot Rod Magazine’s 50th-anniversary issue in April 2017. Included on our site is article published along with photos of Bob sitting with his dragster.
Excerpt From New Zealand Hot Rod Magazine:
Bob was the first editor of NZHRM and up until April ’67 was writing articles for the NZ Hot Rod Association. He’d always possessed a unique type of humour which flowed through his pen before and would continue in the new magazine.
Bob now lives in Pyatt, Arkansas, USA and has great recollections of those early days:
When we printed the first issue of Hot Rod Magazine there was no thought of 50 years of continuous publication. If you’d have said to us this is still going to look good 50 years from now and that we’d be one of only two hot rod magazines to have such a long life, I’m pretty sure we would have all laughed at you. In the beginning we were stumbling along month to month. We didn’t have three months of magazine prepared in advance. We struggled along rounding up advertising, coming up with articles, and conning car dealers. After a while we got quite good at it. But without our constant and loyal readers we would have gotten nowhere and without our constant and loyal readers we would not have made 50 years. So the people who really made this happen are you, our readers. Our most formidable enemy in the future is the internet and the computer, so we realise we have got to do bigger and better for you to have another 50 years and we will do it. In the beginning we were thinking month to month, that has changed, see you 50 years from now.
Yours sincerely, once upon a day editor, Bob Rossiter.
He owned and operated a Kiwi Marine, a maintenance and repair business in Santa Del Ray, California that began a career in yacht deliveries to foreign ports of call for famous and some not so famous boat captains.
Bob was a treasure hunter in the South Pacific, and co-authored a book: “Beer in the Bilges” an account of the sailing adventures of 3 close friends in the South Pacific. In the early 1980’s the remote islands of Polynesia begged to be explored. For three experienced sailors who dreamed of sailing through the idyllic South Pacific, it was a perfect time to embark on a quest through some of the most amazing cruising destinations in the world. As New Zealander "Hollywood" Bob Rossiter, Australian Peter Jinks, and Canadian Alan Boreham set off from different points in the world-one in the company of a Hollywood star, one racing aboard a classic wooden yacht, and one on his first high seas adventure-none of them has any idea that a series of unanticipated events will eventually bring them together in the tropical swelter of Pago Pago. Bob was most at home on the sea.
Along the way of his adventures, while in Hawaii he met the love of his life, Patricia. She relocated from Chicago with her job in the airline industry – and Bob had moved to Hawaii from New Zealand. They had joked for years that they ‘met in the middle’. They spent 10 years in Hawaii delivering large yachts for clients to places like Seattle, Texas and Alaska.
Bob was a kind, caring and positive man who was always ready to go out of his way to help a neighbor and dearly loved animals, especially his cat Nelson and Pusser the cat that sailed the seas with him on his boat.
Full Sails and calm seas Mr. Rossiter!
Bob was a member of the Pyatt Baptist Church and a Board Member for FOPPE a non-profit Christian Missionary Organization.
Bob Leaves behind his wife of 36 years, Patricia Joyce Rossiter of Pyatt AR., a sister: Gayleen Koti of New Zealand, Daughter Sheena Papua of Australia and step-daughter Dorothy Rossiter of Las Vegas, grandson: Jordan Papua, granddaughter: Qualaine Papua, 2 great-granddaughters and one great-grandson.
There will be a Memorial Service at Pyatt Baptist Church on June 5th at 2:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations for hospital costs are appreciated and can be sent in care of Pyatt Baptist Church. Hiway 62. Pyatt, AR. USA 72672.
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