Sunday, October 25, 2020

Coming Together for a Friend


Scott Ray’s friends gathered to remember him.

Scott Ray’s friends gathered to remember him.

Men have been drawn to the sea for centuries; the allure was written about by Hemingway, had songs penned by Jimmy Buffett, and poetry written by many of the most recognized lyricists of our time. Since as long as time itself, men have found a love of boats, fishing, and the waters themselves.

Movies regarding the love of that life have also been very popular recently, as well as many cable TV offerings depicting the lives of sailors who battle the elements at sea on a daily basis as they make a living for themselves and their families.

Born in December of 1961, Scott Lindsay Ray was one of those individuals, who early on in life had a deep affinity for the water. As a young man he moved to Marco Island from his birthplace in Massachusetts and found the sand on his feet and the sun on his face to be something very much to his liking. He would begin his long love affair with the water when he began working for the Marriott Resort shortly after his arrival here on Marco in the early ‘80s.

Photos by Steve Stefanides Scott Lindsay Ray

Photos by Steve Stefanides Scott Lindsay Ray

Just being on a boat, diving, sailing, skiing and fishing would soon become second nature for this young man as he would begin a journey in life which would take him through the next three decades, before his passing at the young age of 57 years.

All who knew him spoke of his infectious smile and love of life. Even if you passed Scott in the grocery store he would always have a smile for you, and usually a short story that would leave you with a grin when he was finished.

 

 

Scott’s love of the sea would lead him to obtain his captain’s license, while his love of adventure would lead him to the Caribbean Sea for a short time. There he captained on everything from daily sailing charters to a 95-foot inter-island ferry between the U.S. Virgin Islands. If was often said that if it would float, Scotty would sail on it.

Friendships were as important to Scott as life itself. In the Caribbean, as well as Marco Island, Scott surrounded himself with his extended family and was always recognized by his signature smile and his ability to make you laugh.

Two women would have his heart; his daughter Whitney who is now a college student and his wife Maria, who he was married to in the fall of 2003. Another woman would also be a big part of Scott’s life these last eight years. In 2009 he purchased the Carol Ann II and began his offshore fishing charter business. The circle was now complete; back on the island he would call home, a daughter he adored, with the woman he loved and on water he revered.

“I’m not sure I’ve ever met another man with such a welcoming and friendly personality,” said Jennifer Williams. She and her husband were close with Maria and Scott and were attending an impromptu gathering to reminisce and honor the popular local character they all called a friend on January 9th at Jack’s Lookout. The popular “watering hole” for both charter boat fishermen and locals alike hosted a coming together to raise a toast to Scotty on a bright sunny day earlier in January.

Sonny Cushman, another well-known islander commented on Ray’s attitude on life. “I’ve never known a more genuine and giving individual here on the island. He was a true friend to so many,” said Cushman.

The Carol Ann II was adorned with red roses sitting in its dock at the Rose River Marina that day. The air was filled with Scotty’s friends’ favorite stories about him. Although their hearts were heavy for the loss of the man they knew, they were thankful for his friendship. Scott Lindsay Ray is now sailing much smoother waters, giving out his signature bear hugs to everyone he meets, while smiling down on his daughter and wife whom he loved, and the boat he couldn’t wait to board every morning these last eight years.

2 responses to “Coming Together for a Friend”

  1. DIANE MCGEE says:

    This story captures the essence of the man we all know as Captain Scott. We all loved him dearly and will miss him terribly.

  2. Corky Miller says:

    Angels are surrounding Scott, Maria and Whitney.

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