Long-time Sanibel resident Donald Stacy, 59, died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, after a year-long battle with cancer. He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1954. He graduated from Breck School in 1972, then went on to earn a degree in Chemistry from St. Paul Technical Vocational Institute. In 1976 he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard.
In the Coast Guard he completed his basic training in Alameda, Calif., where he served in the honorary Color Guard, carrying the American flag. He finished basic training at the top of his class which earned him his pick of "billets"-he chose Honolulu. He attended the USCG Training Center at Yorktown, Va., thus qualifying for sea duty on the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis, a 320 foot search and rescue ship, patrolling the waters of the Pacific, between Hawaii and Alaska. While aboard the Jarvis, he served as a Marine Science Technician, collecting and analyzing oceanographic and meteorological data. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Coast Guard in 1980.
In Minnesota he was employed by Metro Waste Control, Hutchinson Technology, Honeywell Physical Sciences Center, Control Data Temps and 3-M. In 1988, Don moved to Florida and he worked in chemical labs for a time. Because of a life long passion for boating, he enrolled in Daytona's Marine Institute of Technology where he earned several Marine Mechanic certifications. His employment history includes First Light, Ft. Myers Beach and Deep Lagoon Marinas. Most recently he worked on the islands in the hospitality field at 'Tween Waters Inn, Beachview and The West Wind Inn.
Don was known for his quick wit, love for animals, and passion for knowledge. He was proud of his affiliation with the Sanibel-Captiva American Legion, where he served in various official capacities for many years.
Don was predeceased by his father, Edward F. Stacy of Sanibel, his step-dad William Keller of Sanibel, his maternal grandparents Sophie and Thomas Gorkoski of Duluth, Minn., and his paternal grandparents Agnes and William Stachowiak also of Duluth. His is survived by his wife of 17 years, Elaine (Falk) Stacy of Sanibel, his mother Marjorie (Gorkoski) Keller of Sanibel, his sister Carol Ann Pauli of Sanibel, and nieces Madeline Pauli and Janet Pauli of Zurich, Switzerland.
Memorial services were held at the Chapel By the Sea on Captiva and at the Sanibel-Captiva American Legion on Sunday, Dec. 15. Those wishing to honor Don's life may make donations to the Gulf Coast Humane Society or National Public Radio, to which Don listened exclusively.