Jeff Stuart Dies

A Cabo pioneer who turned into a legend

Jeffrey Wayne Stuart passed away on June 24, 2015. He will be remembered as an energetic man with a deep well of great stories. A memorial was held in his home on June 29. He was 68.

Dolphin Jeff, as the old timers knew him, was an avid fisherman, having participated in the Bisbee many times.

Jeff Stuart came to Cabo in 1981 to fishAfter traveling the world from India to Switzerland, Jeff packed up his successful leather business in LA in 1981 and headed south. He first lived in a camper on Medano beach right where the Sand Bar is now. About a year later he bought the home of a former governor in Pedregal. It was the second home to be built on the hill.

Jeff had a talent for developing land, even though he came from a family of book and magazine printers. He understood the nature of Cabo and was able to tame the wild dirt into home lots, like he did to many of the tracts behind Soriana He also developed Plaza Mariachi in downtown Cabo San Lucas. He and Blanca ran their Vida y Olas T shirt shop on the corner. Jeff created most of those funny T shirts that you see there. He had the foresight to invest in that parcel and as his wife Blanca remembers, was out there taking his measurements and building the stores and bars that we all go to today.

If there was music, there was Jeff. A huge music fan, he had a rich history in the record industry working with David Geffen at EMI. He didn’t brag about it, but he could have. I always enjoyed pulling a story out of some random comment he’d make. Like when he booked The Doors at a venue or he lived with the lead singer of Three Dog Night. Yes, he knew Janis Joplin, what about it? He didn’t get star struck certainly. But music was a big part of his world. And he appreciated the many fine musicians that came to and through Cabo. Two of them, Diego Ramirez and Howie Clifton played at Jeff’s memorial.

Born in Long Island New York in 1947, he had a comfortable upbringing with loving parents and an older brother. He set out young on his west coast journey, but he never lost that east-coast edge. Always active, always involved in something, his brain wouldn’t rest. He was such a unique man that his Mexican divorce lawyer set him up with his own sister-in-law; Blanca Colinas from Mexico City. She moved from Ixtapa to Cabo to marry that crazy New Yorker. They were a remarkable pair for almost 25 years.

Daline Jones and her husband Ron Weber remembered, “If you ever wanted a truly honest ( brutally honest sometimes), opinion, you could always count on Jeff Stuart to tell you straight! He didn’t BS with anyone and told you exactly what he thought. It made me admire him even when he said things I didn’t like or agree with. Jeff always told the truth - no sugarcoating.”

He was funny too. As mentioned by other friends, he had great stories. But sometimes just his off-hand comments would make you laugh out loud, long after the party was over!

Jeff loved Cabo and Cabo loved Jeff. He and his wonderful wife, Blanca, were our very first friends here in Cabo. We met them our first visit to Cabo, became closer after moving here, and celebrated 10 years of friendship and Jeff’s birthday at a dinner together in May. He was, and will always be, one of the reasons we call Cabo our home. Echoes of this sentiment were told by many dear friends, with much laughter, despite the sadness. He was an ambassador of sorts, converting many of us from Cabo tourists to residents and friends.

In 1994 he was struck by Guillain Barre (a neurological cascade that paralyzed half his body), and it slowed him down physically. He managed to regain most of his strength but his face remained partially paralyzed.

When Odile rolled in last year, Blanca was on the mainland. Their home was hit very hard. In a month’s time, Jeff rebuilt the house with almost a sheer force of will and he had everything back in order for her birthday in November. It was incredible how much damage he fixed,, even though he was very weak in comparison to his former self. We joked with him that he was like the Omega Man from the movies – smart, prepared and getting it done!  He didn’t realize at that time cancer was invading his body. For Jeff, his determination for projects overruled any symptoms he was experiencing. Excuses of aging and work were soon too obviously wrong, so he finally went for blood work locally. When he didn’t like those answers, he and Blanca went to San Diego in May. Unfortunately, the cancer was in his liver by this time and he was deteriorating quickly. He came back to Cabo to die.

 Jeff was a classic curmudgeon, and those of us fortunate enough to befriend him will miss him dearly. My husband John and I are constantly imitating Jeff’s outrageous comments, and laugh to recall our amazing pal and our many adventures together.

With fond memories, John & Patricia Charos. ,