Remembering victims of Hurricane Ian

fort myers

The names of the victims of Hurricane Ian are beginning to emerge.

More than 50 people were killed during the storm in Lee County, and five each in Charlotte and Collier counties.

In Fort Myers Beach, neighbors Mitch Pacina and Martha “Marty” Campbell died.

Pacyna, 74, lived on Estero Boulevard and Hercules Drive. He upgraded his garage to a sports lounge. Everyone knew him on the beach.

Attempts to contact his family were unsuccessful, but Marti’s brother, Robert Campbell, stayed with Pakina during the storm.

Pacina was with his wife, but when the storm intensified, they were frightened and headed for Campbell’s house.

“Once it became clear that our odds were better in the water than in the house, we jumped and made it two, but not Mitch (Pacina).” Campbell said.

Campbell spoke with his sister and gave her directions.

Marty had agreed to evacuate, but called Campbell on the same day of the storm to tell him that he had dropped the car off at Publix and was ready to go home and stay.

As Campbell was holding onto a tree about three eaves below the house, he saw Marti’s house collapse and submerge.

“It just leaned, more or less,” Campbell said. “I gave up on it.”

He found her gone.

“There’s nothing I can do,” Campbell said. “I just saw it happen.”

“We didn’t think it was going to be a big storm,” Campbell said.

His sister, Martha “Marty” Campbell, was Clewiston’s former consumer science teacher.

“She was very much loved there,” said Campbell.

She volunteered at the Florida Repertory Theater.

She was a community servant who volunteered countless hours.

Mike Verdream, 66, passed away after Ian. He lived in Matlacha.

In Matlacha, 66-year-old Mike Verdream died after moving to the area in April.

Courtney Blackburn said: “We last heard he was alive and helping people on Thursday after the storm.

His family tried to keep in touch with him, but his calls quickly led to voicemail.

On September 30, his family received a call that Verdream had been found in the canal.

How would his friend Courtney Blackburn ask?

“He got through the worst parts,” she said. “How? Why? We may not know what happened, but we’re doing our best to piece together what happened.”

If you know someone who has died, please email me. [email protected] Remembering victims of Hurricane Ian

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