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Welcome to the memorial page for

David Franklin Gow

November 13, 1929 ~ February 12, 2015 (age 85)

David Franklin Gow, age 85, of Key Largo, passed away on February 12, 2015 at home after a battle with cancer.


He was born to Lois Marion Ketcham and David Walter Gow on Nov. 13, 1929 in Teaneck, New Jersey.


He developed a love of the outdoors as a young boy exploring the woods around the family home. He much preferred tending to his trap lines or hunting or fishing to the boredom of sitting in a classroom.


One of proudest accomplishments was earning the rank of Eagle Scout and placing the pin on his mother's dress during the ceremony.  His passion for the fire services started in high school in NJ when the fire truck would pull up in front of the school and the volunteers would jump on board to fight local fires.


He moved to Florida in 1958 and started working for the Miami Herald.  He moved to Key Largo and bought his first home in the early 1960's.


He supplemented his printing income by fishing and lobstering.  He was also a pilot and flew customers, such as John Pennekamp, to and from the islands.  When he left the Miami Herald, he opened The Printed Word print shop in Key Largo.


He was a founding member of the Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department and then the Key Largo Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.  He was instrumental in procuring the property to build the fire station.   Since 1955, he has held every position within the fire department, including chief in 1975.  He was Monroe County Fire Fighter of the year in 2004.  His dedication led to station 25 in Key Largo being named in his honor.   He has been active with the departments until September 11, 2014.  He was an active member of the community, involved in numerous civic organizations such as past president of the Key Largo Lions Club.  He was the unofficial mayor and caretaker of Pompano Avenue and well known for his famous smoked fish.  Everyone who was loved by him was threatened to get a "boot up their ass" at least once and he never hesitated to say what was on his mind.


He was preceded in death by his wives Jane Love Gow and Carol Drozdowicz Gow.  Dave is survived by daughter Jane Winningham (Ron Morris), and son John Gow both of Panama City, grandchildren Eric (Nelva) Love of Panama City, Tracey (Michael) Combs of NY, Dawn (Roger) Turner of Green Acres, Alex Esposito of Palm Beach and NY, great grandsons Sailor Combs of NY and Ethan Youngblood of Panama City, brother Phil (Barbara) Gow of NJ, sister Lois (Jack) Houseman of NV, 3 nephews and  3 nieces and Jason, Deb and Zach Swensson of Tavernier, and a grandfather to Carol's grandchildren. 


Funeral Services will be held at Rowell's Marina, MM 104, on Sun., March 1 at 2:00 pm followed by a gathering of friends at Station 25, 220 Reef Drive, Key Largo. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to VNA and Hospice of the Florida Keys, 92001 Overseas Hwy, Tavernier, FL, 33070.

 Service Information

Funeral Service
March 1, 2015

2:00 PM
Rowell's Marina
104450 Overseas Hwy
Key Largo, FL 33037

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