Roxie Smith graduated from this earth on Friday, April 19th. She passed peacefully with many family members by her side. Roxie was most associated with the Pink Shell Resort on Fort Myers Beach, which was built by her parents, Johnny and Bob Davis, in 1951. She sold the resort and cottages in 1989.
Roxie was in many ways a philanthropist as well as a true pioneer and leader for tourism and business in our area and the state. For her amazing participation, Roxie was recognized when by the Lee County Board of County Commissioners when she was named Citizen of the Year for all of Lee County in 2009.
Roxie has played a leadership role in the Fort Myers Beach Area Chamber of Commerce since the early 1970s. Her father built what is today the Moose Lodge on San Carlos Boulevard, which housed the Chamber of Commerce for over 10 years. She was a Chamber Board member for most of the last 25 years, and she served as Chairman of the Board in 1992 after several years as Vice-Chairman.
Roxie was appointed by then Commissioner Bill Fussel to the Tourist Development Council (TDC) in 1986 and has been re-appointed by Commissioners Janes and Manning covering until today. She has served as Vice-Chairman of this group for many years. While sitting on the TDC, she was appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles and confirmed by the state Senate to serve as a Commissioner of Tourism for the state of Florida. This Tourism Commission evolved into today's name of Visit Florida of which Roxie was a founding partner. She served for eight years on the state's Eco-Tourism and Heritage Committee.
While serving on the TDC, Roxie became a founding member and secretary on the Horizon Council Board of Directors. She also was appointed by Commissioner Ray Judah to Chair the Fort Myers Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and later became the Chairperson for the oversight committee for all of the county's CRA's. Roxie was appointed by the County Commission to help design the newly acquired Bowditch Point Park into a showplace for residents and visitors to be able to enjoy some of the environmental ambiance of the island.
Her additional efforts for the town of Fort Myers Beach included serving on a newly formed committee as Vice-Chairwoman for eight years to determine how to best renovate and operate the then recently acquired Mound House. Roxie was also active and instrumental in moving historic cottages to a wonderful location behind the Elementary School.
Other Boards Roxie served on includes Vice-Chairwoman of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber Foundation from 1985 to the present. She helped champion many college scholarships for local youths and she was very involved and had endless energy for helping children through Spirit of the Holidays. From her personal friendship with Jim & Ellie Newton, she accepted a position that she sat to the present on the Uncommon Friends Board. Further, Roxie fulfilled a request by Jim Nathan to serve on the hospital's 2017 Visioning Board. She was a current member of the C.E.R.T. team as well as the Community Foundation and the Estero Island Historical Society.
Roxie has been Chairwoman of the Town's Historic Advisory Committee and has proudly served her church, St. Raphael's By The Sea Anglican Church as a Senior Warden. Roxie is a founding member of the Friends of the Matanzas Pass Preserve (since 1996).
Roxie was pre-deceased by her parents, Johnavieve and Robert C. Davis, Sr., her brother Robert C Davis Jr., her husband Paul G. Smith as well as a son, Steven. She leaves behind two daughters, Ginny Smith and Teri Walrod (Jim) as well as 12 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and many cherished friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to celebrate Roxie's memory be made to either St. Raphael's By The Sea, the Fort Myers Beach Chamber Foundation's Scholarship Fund, or to the Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve.