Community loses Bobby Balderson
LAHAINA — Robert Nelson “Bobby” Balderson passed away in his sleep at Maui Memorial Medical Center on June 28, 2021.
Balderson was born in Pasadena, California, on May 22, 1945, where he lived for most of his teenage years. He rebuilt a classic Woody car that was his pride and joy and was featured in several surf films and magazine ads.
After graduating from high school, he moved to Colorado to work for his older brother, Herbie, at the original Chart House restaurant in Aspen. In the early 1970s, he moved to Maui and worked at the Chart House in Lahaina and other local establishments before opening his own restaurant, The Hole in the Wall, a classic Mexican restaurant in the heart of town.
At his core, Bobby was a true waterman, proving himself to be a proficient diver, sailor, surfer, fisherman and environmentalist. He also enjoyed cooking, working on fishing boats and exploring his creative side.
For years he was known as “Spider Bob,” based on his one-of-a-kind bike creations made out of used parts and featuring a welded spiderweb in the center frame.
In his later years, he was referred to as “Pirate Bob” and “Purple Bob” after his affinity for wearing everything and anything purple.
The majority of his life was spent living in Lahaina, where he became a familiar face in the community. His colorful character was loved by most for his huge giving heart and ability to make a friend in anyone.
He cherished his long-lasting friendship with the late Frances Kellett, who he referred to as his hanai mom, as well as his loyal friend and hanai niece Megan Kashinski.
During his last four years, he lived in Kahului under the care of Kathleen Pascua and her family, and he liked to be called “Outlaw.”
Bobby is preceded in death by both of his parents, Herbert Parham Balderson II and Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Deming Balderson, as well as his older brother, Herbie, and his older sister, Kay. He is survived by his nephew Dylan Balderson (wife Jacqueline, sons Wyatt and Gage) and his niece Erica Murray (husband Tim, sons Mitch and Hayden, daughter Luna).