Robert Dunlop, senior vice president and chief operations officer for The Oppenheimer Group, died March 18.

The 65-year-old Dunlop worked for the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppenheimer for nearly a quarter century and died following a battle with cancer, according to a news release.

Dunlop retired from Oppenheimer in 2009.

In 1985, he started as a sales representative and through the years, played a key role in building Oppenheimer’s New Zealand apple business and expansion into the U.S. market, according to the release.

Dunlop’s responsibilities grew to include category management and sales management and in 1994, he was promoted to vice president of sales.

Former Oppenheimer executive diesHe developed relationships with growers throughout the world including Chile, Australia and Japan.

Dunlop developed a reputation for his fresh produce expertise and Oppenheimer considers him a valued leader during a time of growth, company officials said in the release.

John Anderson, chairman, president and chief executive officer, remembers Dunlop as a friend whose loyalty to the business was second to commitment to his family, according to the release.

“Bob worked tirelessly for Oppy and helped make our business what it is today,” Anderson said in the release. “He was a proud and dedicated colleague. However, outside of work, he was absolutely devoted to his family. Regardless of whether he had worked a 17-hour day, or spent the day on the road, if he had a family commitment, he would move heaven and earth to fulfill his promise.”

Dunlop is survived by his wife of 43 years, Marlene, two daughters, a son and seven grandchildren.

Memorial services are scheduled for March 28 at the Northview Golf and Country Club in Surrey, British Columbia.

Donations can be made to the British Columbia Cancer Society.