Celebration of life to be held for father, son
Community-oriented pair were business partners at Sea-Craft Waterfront Tiki in North Fort Myers
The lives of a Cape Coral father and son who each passed away on the same day last month will be celebrated this Sunday.
Blaine “Gator” Elmer, 64, and his son, Nicholas Elmer, 28, both died on May 2 — Nicholas of a heart attack and Blaine after being struck on his motorcycle by a driver running a red light as he was heading to see his family (unaware of his son’s condition).
The pair, who died hours apart were business partners at Sea-Craft Waterfront Tiki in North Fort Myers, where Nicholas was head chef.
Nicholas leaves behind his fiancee, Alicia Gregoire, and a 9-month-old baby girl, Charlotte Elaine, who she said was loved deeply by her soon-to-be husband and father-in-law.
“They were exterior ‘tough guys’ but she just melted their heart,” she said. “They were just really great people who always wanted to help others and always wanted to spend time with Charlotte. It’s really hard not having them here every day like we’re used to.”
This Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Ranch in Fort Myers, Blaine’s and Nicholas’ lives will be celebrated with live music courtesy of Southwest Florida’s own Ben Allen Band. All proceeds from the event, that includes a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, and donations (many from local businesses), will benefit Alicia and the child.
“The whole situation is overwhelming, but the support we’ve received is overwhelming as well,” Gregoire said. “People I don’t even know or haven’t met either Blaine or Nick before, or are sympathetic to the situation, have shown support. It’s been a humbling situation. We’re really lucky and really blessed to have everyone helping us out.”
Bill Morris, along with his brother Steve and son Blake helped organize the upcoming show at The Ranch, as they were close with “Gator” and Nicholas (Blake and Nicholas were close friends and co-workers at Sea-Craft).
Bill reached out to Ben Allen, who was more than willing to make it happen. Allen then reached out to Jim Heckler at The Ranch, who generously offered the venue for the event.
“This benefit is for Charlotte and Alicia, and there’s a lot of people who have reached out to offer their support and we feel blessed,” Bill said, recalling the joy that Blaine’s granddaughter brought him and how he, when around her, would never let her out of his arms.
Bill said both Allen and Heckler were swift to put the plans in motion and is grateful for their contributions in making the day possible.
“It’s amazing how fast it all came together.”
Blaine, who was a member of the local LEMC Punishers motorcycle club (made up of retired military and law enforcement, and where he got the name “Gator”), was remembered in a memorial ride on May 8 from The Ranch to his crash site in Cape Coral. Blaine was both a former police officer/private investigator in New Jersey and U.S. Navy veteran, retiring in 2015 achieving a rank of Master Chief.
“The Punishers are a group of bikers that want to show affection to the community and help people,” Bill said. “They aim help brothers who have fallen and raise money to support good causes. It’s just amazing to see their impact.”
Blaine was also a real estate agent for Jones & Company Realty in Cape Coral. He also is survived by two other children: a daughter, Valerie, and son, Steven, as well as two other grandchildren.
“This day is to celebrate these pillars of the community,” Bill said. “To celebrate the life, the love, the friendships, the impact they’ve made on the community. Blaine and Nick gave the opportunity to others to live their dream. Blaine was very focused and driven, and he and Nick created and built the Sea-Craft family. People came around because they felt like family.”
The Ranch is at 2158 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers.
–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj