UPEI loses a great student champion in Rocky Paquet

Posted: 
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Rocky Paquet, Pride the Panther, and Sister Sue at Welcome Day.

The entire University of Prince Edward Island community was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death on July 2 of Robert “Rocky” Paquet, a long-time service worker with UPEI’s Facilities Management department who always had a smile and glint in his eye. Although always hopeful, in recent weeks, he had become adversely affected by a heart condition and was in Halifax seeking treatment at the time of his death. Rocky would have turned 61 years old later this month.

Rocky reached his 25-year anniversary of employment with UPEI in 2016 and while he was well-known for his polished floors and attention to detail as a cleaner, he was most recognized for the exam-week chili lunches that he organized for students twice a year. He was honoured for his contributions to the University and to student life with a Presidential Recognition Award of Merit for Campus Spirit in 2013 and with a UPEI Student Union Staff Award in 2014.

“The entire University community is saddened by the passing of Rocky, who was a dedicated employee and legendary for organizing the exam lunches,” said Vice-President Administration and Finance Jackie Podger. “I remember meeting him shortly after beginning at UPEI and his passion for helping students and willingness to lend a hand was evident right away. On behalf of President Abd-El-Aziz, I extend my sincere condolences to Rocky’s family, friends, and colleagues. He will be greatly missed.”

Born in Chatham, New Brunswick, Rocky moved to PEI in his youth and attended Charlottetown Rural High School, always calling the Island his home.

Sister Sue Kidd, UPEI’s chaplain, fondly remembers her dear friend and lunch collaborator. “He had a huge heart and cared deeply about others and all of God’s creations. As I looked for photos to remember Rocky, I realized I have many pictures of chili pots and happy students, but very few of the man who made it all happen. That is typical of Rocky’s way—working diligently in the background to serve others. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”

Robert “Rocky” Howard Paquet was the son of the late Reginald and Agnes (Findlay) Paquet. In addition to his extended UPEI family, he is remembered by several brothers and sisters; many nieces and nephews; and his beloved dogs.

The University has lowered flags in front of Kelley Memorial Building and at UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place to half-mast in Rocky’s memory. Funeral arrangements have not yet been confirmed. A memorial service will be held at the UPEI Chaplaincy Centre in September.

Nicole Phillips
Associate Director
Department: 
Marketing and Communications
Phone: 
(902) 566-0947
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