Fresh produce industry veteran Robert Paul “Bob” Post, who worked for Dole Fresh Fruit and its predecessor for 45 years, died of cancer April 25, in New Orleans.

Post, 79, worked for the Westlake Village, Calif.-based Dole before retiring in 2005.

Post served in the U.S. Navy before beginning his produce career in 1960. Post started with Standard Fruit and Steamship Co. (Dole Fresh Fruit, as of 1991) as a customer service representative. Post was transferred to Dole’s corporate office, but returned to New Orleans years later as the vice president of banana sales, Central Division.

“Bob was an experienced and wise industry veteran with extensive knowledge of the banana business,” Mike Cavallero, president of tropical fruit for Dole, said in a news release. “Even after his retirement, I continued to speak with him on a regular basis as he was a mentor for me. He will be sorely missed.”

Post is survived by his wife, Joyce Williams Post, and three children: Nanette Cosban, Tracey Banowetz, and Kristin Post. He is also survived by three grandsons.

Memorials should be sent to Jesuit High School, 4133 Banks St., New Orleans, LA 70119.