RODDEY, Jesse Boyd was an original. Known for his kind heart and sense of humor, Boyd passed away on Jan. 7, 2014 at Shands Hospital. Born on April 24, 1951 in Dunedin, to parents Benjamin D. Roddey II and surviving mother, Friedel Boyd Roddey, of Clearwater. After obtaining his pilot's license at 18, Boyd would go on to receive a degree from Embry Riddle University and became a flight instructor in Tampa. In 1976, along with his brother, Benjamin D. Roddey III of Tarpon Springs, he took over operations of Souther Field Airport where he established Roddey Aviation in Americus, GA, that would serve as the home airport for Jimmy Carter during his tenure as 39th President. His work as a corporate pilot eventually brought him back home to his beloved Pinellas County, and his later years were devoted to sailing the waters surrounding it. Along with his brother, Ben; and his mother, Boyd is survived by his son, Joe Roddey; his sister, Kay Schafer; and eight nephews and nieces. By his side, as he struggled through the end of his life, was loving, constant companion Cheryl Fowler, of Palm Harbor. A family memorial was held on Jan. 10th, in the waters of Hurricane Pass in Dunedin.
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Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Jan. 21, 2014