Robert “Dutch” Bol, a former sales manager for The Oppenheimer Group, died Oct. 2. He was 49.

Bol died of a heart attack in his sleep, said Rick Eastes, vice president and general manager of Seald Sweet West International Inc., Dinuba, Calif.

Eastes hired Bol at Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppenheimer in 1986 after Bol served an internship at the company. Bol worked in Oppenheimer’s Los Angeles office, handling South American imports. In 1991 he moved to Visalia when the company opened an office there. He lived in Visalia until his death.

Eastes said Bol was a bigger-than-life figure — he stood 6’6” and weighed 250 pounds — who earned the respect of people he worked with all along the supply chain.

“He had a terrific relationship with a lot of retailers, but he always remembered who the growers were,” Eastes said. “His reputation in the industry was excellent.”

After leaving Oppenheimer in about 2006, as the company’s West Coast sales manager, Bol founded his own business, Dutch Produce.

Because of requests from former colleagues who couldn’t make it to Bol’s memorial service Oct. 12, a second service will likely be held in December, Eastes said.

Bol is survived by a daughter, Melanie; a son, Brenden; and two sisters.