THE FLORIDA KEYS LOST SOME FRIENDS IN 2020

E.Death is tragic in its own way and sad for someone. But here are some passages that were particularly painful in a particularly painful year.

Pascal Weisberger
2006-2020

Pascal Weisberger from Islamorada died on May 7, 2020 at the age of 14.

Pascal, a student at Treasure Village Montessori, was distinguished by his characteristically humble, softly spoken manner. In a year he overcame the fear of sticking his face in the water and became “a little fish,” said Arie Poholek, Pascal’s father. Weisberger started running and proudly represented his school at the Special Olympics. He rose through the ranks of both Boy Scouts and Taekwondo, investing considerable time and effort in both beloved activities. By the time he passed, Weisberger was on the verge of earning his Eagle Scout rank and black belt.

“Pascal has always surprised me so much. I was proud of him all along, ”said Poholek.

John Ely
1940-2020

John S. Ely of North Brunswick, New Jersey and Marathon, Florida passed away on July 17, 2020 at the age of 79. John is survived by his beloved wife Maria Arvelo Ely from Marathon.

John began owning a furniture business and then began designing and building homes in the New Jersey area and buying real estate for investment.

While on vacation in the late 80s, he instantly fell in love with the pristine waters and low-key lifestyle of Keys. Within a month he bought a home for his family and then began buying additional real estate in the Marathon and Key Colony Beach areas to build houses. In the late 90s, he decided to try his hand at restaurateurs, which was a completely new endeavor for him. He founded the Florida Keys Steak & Lobster House in Marathon, which continues to operate.

Larry Kahn
1963-2020

Larry Kahn, former editor of the Keynoter, passed away on July 18, 2020.

Kahn was born on September 26, 1963 in Smithtown, New York, to Charlotte and Arnold Kahn, who have already passed away.

He switched to Marathon in the early 1990s and worked his way up at the keynoter to become an editor. He left the newspaper in 2018 to become the information officer for Prosecutor Dennis Ward.

“His family was down there; He had so many friends, ”said his sister, Deborah.

Paul Worthington
1948-2020

Paul Worthington looked like a hard-living and accomplished seaman should, and he had the seafaring license required to back up all the stories that were told in a bar. And there were many of them.

Worthington, who held the title of Minister of Piracy in the Conch Republic Navy, died on August 23, taking many people by surprise. He was 72 years old.

Worthington, who was known in Key West as a co-owner of the legendary Schooner Wharf Bar with his wife Evalena, had lived a fulfilling life on the water in his native New England before moving to the Florida Keys in the mid-1980s. He and Evalena started the Schooner Wharf Bar aboard an old schooner docked in Key West Harbor before expanding and moving into the familiar space at the foot of William Street.

“Paul was the love of my life, my pioneering light, my greatest supporter, co-worker, cheerleader and my best friend,” said his wife Evalena after his death. “He and his spirit will be with me forever. There was nothing too crazy for us to watch, and the two of us did everything together, from start to finish. “

Jerry Greenberg
1927-2020

Jerry Greenberg died on September 1, 2020 at the age of 93 in Key Largo. The Key Largo diving legend changed the game of underwater photography and diving with the first underwater color photo cover for National Geographic in 1962. In the end, he was still taking photos and mentoring a few about the value of hard work, Integrity, love for the land and protecting our reefs.

Together with his wife, Idaz, they created publications on marine life that were scientifically correct, alive, and affordable for everyone. He invented the underwater kiss of lightning and shared his groundbreaking methods in his 1956 book “Underwater Photography Simplified”. When his equipment couldn’t do what he needed, he innovated the parts it needed. He recorded entire scenes that no one else could. how did he do that? Sometimes Jerry first drafted the story and then visualized the images in it – sketched underwater scenes with cropping and viewing angles.

Charles “Sonny” McCoy
1928-2020

Charles “Sonny” McCoy was born on January 16, 1928 on Bahama Street in Key West, Florida. He died on September 10, 2020.

McCoy and his soulmate Merili Hilton McCoy were married for 50 years and raised six children together. McCoy was a US Army Air Force veteran and flew several types of aircraft to numerous destinations around the world. A graduate of the University of Florida, he traveled from Key West to Gainesville on an Indian motorcycle. The dresser was strapped in the back.

He was Mayor of Key West from 1971 to 1981, the first mayor to serve five terms. He saved the city from Florida takeover and brought the Key West economy out of the red and black. He later became Commissioner and Mayor of Monroe County from 2000 to 2008 – at the urging of Merili.

On September 10, 1978, when he was 50 years old, he went skiing to Cuba in six hours and 10 minutes without a break. National Geographic printed the story and he was recognized in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum. The story went worldwide after it was picked up by the Associated Press.

Ken Davis
1956-2020

Ken Davis, father, husband, brother, friend, and son, passed away peacefully on September 12, 2020 at Miami Baptist Hospital. He was 64 years old.

His career began 40 years ago in Islamorada. In 1980 he joined the US Coast Guard as a member of the Coast Guard Secret Service. He worked as a special agent for six years, conducting criminal investigations while prosecuting deserters.

He was hired by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1986 and began his 22-year career receiving numerous exceptional performance and service awards from the DEA and other law enforcement agencies.

In 2008, Ken retired from his cherished DEA career. Soon after, he was on a plane to Baghdad to work as a private entrepreneur.

He was elected as a member of the Village Council and Vice Mayor of Islamorada, a position he has held since 2018. During this time he strove to always do what he thought was best to keep the village and what made it so special to him and so many others.

Cheryl Cates
1953-2020

Loving wife, mother, and grandmother, Cheryl Cates, passed away on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Cheryl was born on September 19, 1953 in Jacksonville, Florida. She moved to Key West when she was 2 years old. On September 11, 1971, she married the love of her life, Craig Cates. They raised three daughters, Tammy, Nicole and Crystal. They also shared four beautiful grandchildren, Taylor, Riley, Trevor, and Andrew. Cheryl and husband Craig owned several Key West businesses, including Cates Automotive and NAPA Auto Parts. Cheryl was also a real estate agent at Berkshire Hathaway Knight Gardner Realty.

Her pride for her family and her adoration for her husband were evident to everyone who knew her. She loved live music and was an avid supporter of local Key West musicians. She often sang in town herself. Cheryl was a fierce advocate and advocate for the needy on her beloved island. She has been involved in many organizations and has led numerous fundraising campaigns for people and causes. She served on the boards for Wesley House, Samuel’s House, and Kids Come First. She cherished her nine years as First Lady of Key West and used all of her influence and connections to make her island a better place.

Cheryl also shared a passion for the water and boating with her husband, Craig. They enjoyed long weekends together in Boca Grande and explored the Bahamian Islands on their boat, Craig’s Girls. It has shaped many small towns in the Bahamas.

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