David Marshall Strong
Destin - David Marshall Strong was born July 6th, 1955 on Kadena AFB, Okinawa. He died at his home in Destin on July 20th, 2021. He was with friends when he passed away.
David's parents were James Strong of Jackson, Tenn., and Ruth Chidori Strong of Hawaii. His sisters are Betty Ryker of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Diane Vosburgh of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Susan Fedullo of Cocoa Beach, Fla. He was preceded in death by his brother, James Strong, Jr.
David was a master wall paper hanger and a professional painter. He painted and helped design a dozen restaurants in the past 25 years. But school and work often got in the way of David's preferred avocation - which was fishing. It was understood that neither the restaurants, or school for that matter, would receive much of his attention during the spring Cobia run.
He fished the FWB and Crystal Beach piers as a youngster - often with his mother, who was a renowned pompano fisherwoman.
David was a fixture in the Destin area for the past 40 years. He worked at Sexton's Seafood and later on many area boats. He spent the last 30 years fishing on the Hey Baby and the Papi.
He was a skilled angler and famous for his vision and laconic style.
"Thar's one over thar," he'd mumble, barely above a whisper, when he'd spot a Cobia.
Often, since he was the only one in the tower who could see the fish, he'd be asked: "Well where is it?"
"It's way over thar," he'd drawl, while pointing a long, bony finger in the distance.
The only time that his approach changed was when the boat would run up too close to a Cobia.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," he'd say. Before anyone could react, David would have an eel in front of the fish.
According to most accounts, he never misidentified a fish. He also never incorrectly identified a military plane flying over the gulf. David was an expert at anything involving military aviation.
David's family and friends are grateful for the devotion and care he received from his longtime friend Lisa Kattine. She was with him until the end.
There will be a memorial for David at Harbor Docks in Destin on Wednesday, August 4th at 5 pm.
Published by Northwest Florida Daily News from Jul. 22 to Jul. 25, 2021.