By Patty Huff
On Friday, April 6, a small plane crashed after it took off from the Everglades Airpark. Residents witnessed a ball of flame as it hit the ground. There was no chance that the pilot would survive. I heard all this not knowing that the pilot was our old friend, Jose Wejebe, a well-known and respected fishing guide turned TV personality (www.spanishflytv.com).
Jose traveled around the world for his adventures. He was a fun loving, first class person. He always had a smile on his face and love in his heart. Jose was born in Cuba and came to this country to start a new life, and what a life he had! He lived it to the fullest, he lived his life well, and he was happy.
I last saw Jose a few months ago when we had dinner together during the filming of one of his shows in Everglades City. My husband, Steve, saw him every day the week before he died as he came in from fishing. We are both saddened to lose a friend, and it was only during the memorial service that we realized how many, many other friends were experiencing the same loss. Services were held on April 15 at the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) in Dania, Florida, with over 1,000 people in attendance. In addition to Steve, speakers included representatives from his TV show, his sponsors, his cameraman, and other close friends in the fishing world, all who were overwhelmed with emotion as they talked about his humility and generosity.
Jose unselfishly donated his time and money to support countless charities and foundations. To continue these charitable efforts, a foundation has been established, the Jose Wejebe “Spanish Fly” Memorial. Through your donations the foundation will be able to ensure that Jose’s charitable legacy lives on. If you knew Jose or watched his shows and would like to contribute, please send checks payable to Jose Wejebe “Spanish Fly” Memorial Foundation to P.O. Box 420661, Summerland Key, FL 33042.