Obituaries

Sunday, May 24, 2015
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Kyoko Oropeza

11-1-1937 to 5-8-2015

On the evening of May 8, 2015,  Kyoko Oropeza passed away peacefully at a nursing facility in Fort Lauderdale. 

She will always be remembered to many as “Mamasan,” “Kyokosan,” “The Barbecue Lady,” “The Avon Lady”, but to us she was an incredible giving, warm-hearted mother. 

She strived to make everyone happy, either by way of jokes, generosity or her amazing cooking. She was an energetic, extremely hard working entrepreneur. She showed her love through hard work for her family, often working 16 hour days to provide for her family as they were growing up — and as she had also done to help her mother with her younger siblings back in Kyushu, Japan. 

The oldest of five children, Kyoko had to quit school at an early age to help her mother provide for the family. Our father, Javier Oropeza, met our mother in Japan while stationed there with the U.S. Army. 

She was 18 when they married and moved back to Key West to start a family. She is more than a “Fresh Water Conch” — to many locals she was a “Conch — with a touch of soy sauce.”  Her personality was as spicy as her cooking. She will be missed by all that knew her. We will see you again in heaven, Mamasan/Obaasan.

She was preceded in death by her father Agio, mother Tomia, Brother Satoto Uno. Survived by sisters Telico, Helico, Kunichio Uno, Kozico Uno, niece Michia. Also survived by Javier Oropeza (husband), sons Micheal (Hilda), Glenn, Steve (Pam). Grandchildren: Sophia, Christina, Hunter, and Savannah Oropeza.

Service will be held at 3 p.m. at Old Stone Methodist Church 600 Eaton St. on Friday, May 29, 2015. Celebration of life reception following service at 3540 Eagle Ave., Key West.

Sunday, May 24, 2015
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Jefferson Thomas Caldwell

Jefferson Thomas Caldwell, 53, died May 16, 2015. 

He was a classic example of a one of a kind person, a good friend, loving boyfriend, good son and uncle and a great boat captain. 

He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. A memorial will be held at Shana Key on Sunday, May 31 at 2 pm. Donations to Seasons Hospice are welcomed.

Friday, May 22, 2015
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FRAN MASAT

A celebration of life remembering Fran Masat will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 24 at the White Street Pier. A bird from the Key West Wildlife Center will be released in his honor.

Friday, May 22, 2015
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William ‘Buck’ Francis, Jr.

William “Buck” Francis, Jr. passed away unexpectedly on Monday, May 18. 

He was born on Feb. 9, 1982 at the U.S. Naval Air Facility, Atsugi, Japan. He grew up both as a “Navy brat” and a Key West conch, having graduated from Key West High School in the class of 2000. 

Buck, most recently, was working as a bartender at Conch Town Liquor and Lounge in Key West. He was in the final stages of completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialty in technology from St. Leo University. 

The only friend Buck never made was the one he never met. He enjoyed telling stories to make people laugh, as well as sports, history, spearfishing and camping. He was also an avid Miami Hurricanes and San Francisco 49ers fan. 

Buck is survived by his father, William “Bart” Francis (Leigh); mother, Joanne Francis (Don); sister, Michelle Edwards (Dustin); brother, Joseph Francis (Luli); cherished nieces and nephews, Kylie Francis, Harper Francis, Grayson Edwards and Austin Edwards; aunts, Janice Stettner (Fred), Karen Mendez (Tony Sr.), Kathy Stettner (Steve), Gina Duffey (Gary) and Blanche White; cousins, Jennifer DeVito, Tony Mendez, Jr. (also Buck’s best friend), Andy Mendez (Danielle) and Debbie Vest (Freddy); “chosen brothers”: Sean Morales, Michael Anderson, Ryan Baker, Adam Frenz, Ash Wiggins, Jeremy Stehly, Hugh Morgan, Cory Otto, Lucas Bacle, Stevie Davila and Brock Johnson; and so many other friends. 

Visitation will be Friday, May 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dean-Lopez funeral home (please bring photos and memories of Buck). Services will be Saturday, May 23 at 1 p.m. at The Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea. Reception to follow Conch Town Liquor and Lounge. The Dean-Lopez Funeral Home is entrusted with all funeral arrangements.

Friday, May 22, 2015
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Anthony Granville Gibson Sawyer

Anthony Granville Gibson Sawyer was born Nov. 7, 1934 to the late Clara Sawyer. Tony, as he was known to many, was born and raised In Key West, Florida and attended Douglas High School graduating with the class of 1953. 

He was class vice president and a proud member of the Douglass High School “Tigers” basketball team. Upon graduation, Tony entered the U.S. Army, receiving an honorable discharge in 1956. 

After his tenure in the Army, Tony relocated to New York City. During his time in New York City, Tony was employed by New York City Housing. In 1971, he relocated back to his hometown of Key West and was employed with City Electric. Not too long afterward, he became employed with the U.S. Postal Service, serving as a bulk mailroom tech for many years before retiring in 2009 after 38 years.

A proud, faithful and dedicated member of the Masonic Family, he was the oldest member of The Historic Union Lodge #47 F & M P.H.A, previously serving the positions of secretary and trustee, The Order Of the Mystic Shrine Kismet Temple #87, The Key West Consistory #4, 32nd ° Masons, and the past Worthy Patron Of Myrna E. Sawyer Key Of The Gulf chapters #53 and #5 Order Of The Eastern Stars. He was also A dedicated member of the American Legion Post #168.

Surviving to cherish his memories are his children and grandchildren: Vickie Sawyer (Jason & Jalissa); Kim Sawyer-Qareeb (Fulton) — (Rajaee, Qandranea, Jasmine); Troy Brown (Michelle) — (Daphne, Devontshae, Brit’nae, Thai’quondra); Robert Reid Jr. (Ingrid) — (Jocelynn, Mercedes, Savanah , Janessa); and Esa Sawyer (Kevin) — (Anthony, Kevon). His loving sister Barbara Mae Murray Sawyer, nephew Issac Mcgraw (Reshant), one whom he looked at as his daughter Caroline Stubbs-Sylla (Steve) — (Naiilah, I’Naijah); and his loving and devoted companion; Constance Teate.

He will be missed by all who knew him, young and old.

Visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday, May 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. and funeral services will be Saturday, May 23 at 1 p.m. — both at Trinity Presbyterian Church at 717 Simonton St. 

Interment at City of Key West Cemetery. Castillo & Thurston’s Key West Mortuary, Inc. are in charge of arrangements.

Thursday, May 21, 2015
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Anthony G. Sawyer

Anthony G. Sawyer, 80, of Key West, Florida passed away May 14, 2015, at Lower Keys Medical Center.

Visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday, May 22, 2015 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

Funeral Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 23, 2015 at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

Castillo & Thurston’s Key West Mortuary, Inc are in charge of arrangements.

Thursday, May 21, 2015
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William ‘Buck’ Francis, Jr.

William “Buck” Francis, Jr. passed away unexpectedly on Monday, May 18. 

He was born on Feb. 9, 1982 at the U.S. Naval Air Facility, Atsugi, Japan. He grew up both as a “Navy brat” and a Key West conch, having graduated from Key West High School in the class of 2000. 

Buck, most recently, was working as a bartender at Conch Town Liquor and Lounge in Key West. He was in the final stages of completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialty in technology from St. Leo University. 

The only friend Buck never made was the one he never met. He enjoyed telling stories to make people laugh, as well as sports, history, spearfishing and camping. He was also an avid Miami Hurricanes and San Francisco 49ers fan. 

Buck is survived by his father, William “Bart” Francis (Leigh); mother, Joanne Francis (Don); sister, Michelle Edwards (Dustin); brother, Joseph Francis (Luli); cherished nieces and nephews, Kylie Francis, Harper Francis, Grayson Edwards and Austin Edwards; aunts, Janice Stettner (Fred), Karen Mendez (Tony Sr.), Kathy Stettner (Steve), Gina Duffey (Gary) and Blanche White; cousins, Jennifer DeVito, Tony Mendez, Jr. (also Buck’s best friend), Andy Mendez (Danielle) and Debbie Vest (Freddy); “chosen brothers”: Sean Morales, Michael Anderson, Ryan Baker, Adam Frenz, Ash Wiggins, Jeremy Stehly, Hugh Morgan, Cory Otto, Lucas Bacle, Stevie Davila and Brock Johnson; and so many other friends. 

Visitation will be Friday, May 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dean-Lopez funeral home (please bring photos and memories of Buck). Services will be Saturday, May 23 at 1 p.m. at The Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea. Reception to follow Conch Town Liquor and Lounge. The Dean-Lopez Funeral Home is entrusted with all funeral arrangements.