Bill and Carolyn Van Duzer have been a big part of the Fort Myers Beach community for many years. They recently announced they are moving to Marathon in the Florida Keys to officially retire after the first of the year. They will be solely missed.
The Van Duzers were very active in many organizations within the Town, Chamber and Fort Myers Beach Lions Foundation. Bill was the mayor of the Town of Fort Myers Beach in 2005 and was a council member from 2001 to 2005. He served on the Local Planning Agency from 1996 to 2001 and again from 2005 to his final meeting this past Tuesday. Carolyn is a former Shrimp Festival Queen and has been a key figure in helping coordinate the Beach Lions Foundation Princess Pageants and Queen's Ball for many years.
On Dec. 6, several former and current Beach officials honored the Van Duzers with a special dinner engagement at The Fish Monger. Fellow LPA member Jane Plummer was the event coordinator and emceed at the gathering.
Bill Van Duzer (center in dance position with Anita Cereceda) and Carolyn Van Duzer (second from left) were honored at a special function at The Fish Monger on Dec. 6.
According to Mayor Larry Kiker, who attended the event, Bill was presented the Key to the Town of Fort Myers Beach during the evening. Many of the distinguished guests also had a chance to say a few kind words about him. Later that evening, Bill was also recognized with a resolution from Lee County.
"I have enjoyed living here more than 50 years," Bill said. "There has never been anyone here who I didn't appreciate and love deeply. I'm going to miss it here, but I will be back on occasion."
Yesterday, the current LPA members also honored Bill with their own resolution before tackling the Consumption On Premises Ordinance.
In that resolution, which was passed unanimously, the following was read:
n Bill Van Duzer is recognized for his hard work and dedicated service to the Town of Fort Myers Beach. He contributed his expertise in land planning to benefit the Local Planning Agency of the Town, providing insight and recommendations to address issues of concern to the welfare of the residents and visitors, and to support the local commercial interests. He created a positive environment for the Local Planning Agency while maintaining an attitude of courtesy toward colleagues, citizens and staff during discussions and deliberations. He discharged his duties without favor or prejudice while respecting all laws, rules and regulations. His contributions worked to insure that the unique and natural characteristics of the Town of Fort Myers Beach will be preserved.
After the resolution was read, LPA chairwoman Joanne Shamp offered comment regarding Bill's service to the Town and imminent departure.
"I think I speak on behalf of not only the LPA sitting here, but former members of the LPA and Town when I say that you are going to have a big moving van to take all the affection, prayers and well wishes with you," she said. "Our hearts go with you."