CONLIN, Kenneth B., Jr
born Nov. 9, 1919 in New York City, New York to parents, Kenneth B. Conlin, Sr. and Sara R. Conlin of New York, passed away Friday, Oct. 2, 2015 in Williston. They came to St. Petersburg around 1929. His parents become owners of the Lighthouse when it was an "Open Air Bar", at the corner of Park Street and Tyrone Blvd. Dad attended (FMA) Florida Military Academy in Pasadena. (now Stetson College) where he ran track during his high school years on a scholarship. After graduating from FMA, he joined the Army Air Corp and became a Crew Chief with B17 bombers during World War II. On Nov. 24, 1943 he was shot down while ferrying a C47 military plane from North Africa to Italy. Dad was one of two survivors out of a crew of nine. He was rescued by a French fishing boat. After WW II, he returned home to St. Petersburg, married Jean R. Thom, started a family, and became an active partner at the Lighthouse with his parents, where he made several improvements and enhancements over the years, adding the Lighthouse Restaurant, Bar and Package Store. Years later, because the Lighthouse was a wood structure, Dad tore down the existing restaurant and bar, adding a warehouse and expanding a new bar and package store. In the late sixties the Lighthouse Package Store was the largest Independent package store on the west coast of Florida. Other accomplishments were starting another restaurant, Ken's Original Wine House on North Redington Beach. The Ken's Wine House was a higher end eating establishment. Several employees from the Old Lighthouse Restaurant went to work at Ken's Wine House. He later sold the Wine House in the early seventies. The Lighthouse Restaurant, Bar and Package Store was a land mark for many! It was owned by the Conlin Family from 1934 until 1977 when Dad had an opportunity to sell out and retire. Dad had over 125 employees working at both Ken's Wine House and the Lighthouse. After selling the Lighthouse Bar and Package Store he moved to the Williston area and went into the cattle business with his daughter, Kathleen and son-in-law, Bill Bellamy. Kathleen and her family are still in the cattle business. Dad always enjoyed people, worked hard, played hard, and was a good father. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends. He is survived by his four children; Patricia, Mike, Kathleen, and Kelly; six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. No services are planned at this time. Condolences may be left for the family at: www.robertsofdunnellon.com
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Published by Tampa Bay Times from Oct. 4 to Oct. 6, 2015.