It is with deep regret and sadness Lee County announces that Board of County Commission Chairman Larry Kiker passed away Tuesday, April 23, at Hope Hospice. He was 67.
Kiker, a longtime public servant and champion for the local community, was first elected to the Lee Board of County Commissioners in 2012 and then reelected in 2016. Prior to his election as county commissioner, he served on Fort Myers Beach Town Council for a total of six years, five of those years as mayor.
He served as Chairman of the Lee County Commission in 2014 and again beginning in November 2018. Under his leadership, he restructured the county’s budget process and began holding twice-a-month workshops to discuss and develop policy on important issues facing the people of Lee County.
During his time on the commission, he was a strong advocate for the people and businesses of Lee County through his leadership and support of:
- Improving Water Quality
- Reducing Regulations
- Reducing FEMA Flood Insurance Rates
- Collaboration with Mayors’ group and other Southwest Florida counties
- Conservative Budget Management
- Cutting Taxes and Fees
Kiker also spearheaded the effort to reconstruct the entire length of Estero Boulevard on Fort Myers Beach.
He received numerous awards and honors during his distinguished public service career. In 2009, he received the Outstanding Citizen award from the Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, he was a finalist for the News-Press’ People to Watch and in 2014 for the newspaper’s Public Official of the Year award. In 2014, the Florida Association of Counties presented him with the Presidential Advocacy Award.
Larry and Paula Kiker, his wife of 14 years, lived in Fort Myers with their two dogs. Together they owned Lahaina Realty on Fort Myers Beach. Passionate about their community, the Kikers organized an annual charitable event that directly benefited the children of Fort Myers Beach.
Kiker earned his MBA from Northeastern University in Boston. Prior to public service, he worked for large companies all across the country. After leaving corporate America, Kiker moved to Fort Myers Beach where he operated a charter service for 10 years as a licensed USCG Captain and Dive Master.
He will be remembered for seeking innovative and meaningful solutions to the challenges his community faced, working to make the quality of life better for the people he served. Regarding the passing of Commissioner Kiker, the commissioners released the following statements:
“It’s rare in the world of politics to find a friend like Larry Kiker. On top of his passionate service for Lee County, he had an amazing sense of humor and always delivered the right quip with the perfect timing. We will miss our Chairman and will work to honor his legacy.” — Vice Chairman Brian Hamman
“Larry was passionate about serving his community and devoted his heart and soul to the county commission. But above all he was a great friend and I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve with him over the last 7 years. He will truly be missed, but never forgotten.” – Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass
“I never met a public official who seemed to enjoy the political arena more than Larry. And he played skillfully in that arena. He was a strong and effective advocate for whatever battle he was fighting. I will miss him on the commission.” — Commissioner Frank Mann
“What I will always remember about Larry was his compassion and caring about all of the issues we face on an almost daily basis. His constituents were well served by him and were well represented. I will miss his analytical style of looking for answers.” — Commissioner John Manning
Information about a memorial service is pending.