Community members gather to remember Lee County Commissioner Kiker

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Commissioner Larry Kiker. Credit:

Hundreds of people gathered Thursday to say goodbye to Lee County Commissioner Larry Kiker, who died at the age of 67 in hospice care last week.

”We were very shocked, very sad, when we got the call and he went to the hospice,” Dennis Stillwagen said. Then, we knew he was in trouble — very sad.”

Kiker’s friends Dennis and Connie Stillwagen were among the nearly 600 people who went to his celebration of life service. Friends, family and community leaders shared kind words about his dedication to Lee County.

“He was a coworker, colleague, but he was a personal friend,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno said. “And he was a great man, so today we’re heavy hearts.”

Lianna Allen met Kiker when he was a charter captain.

“He was always known as ‘Uncle Captain,’ and then he was ‘Uncle Captain Mayor’ and then he was ‘Uncle Captain Commissioner,’” Allen said. “So, it’s sad.”

Before Kiker worked to improve water quality and help lower taxes as a Lee County commissioner, he served as mayor on Fort Myers Beach.

“As a mayor, the key thing was upgrading Estero Boulevard,” Stillwagen said.

Some of Kiker’s accomplishments were even more personal.

“My kids went to Fort Myers Beach school because of him,” Allen said.

Stillwagen also simply remembers Kiker for being a good man.

”He was very firm but very good, very kind,” Stillwagen said. “Just a fun, fun guy. He’s really going to be missed, really.”

MORE: Lee County Commissioner Larry Kiker has died at 67

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