Honoring the Life of Freddy Cabanasby Former Representative Joe Garcia
Posted on 2013-01-18
in the house of representatives
Friday, January 18, 2013
Mr. GARCIA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a dear friend and
legend in the Key West community, Fred Cabanas. An aerobatic daredevil,
fourth generation Conch, loving husband, and father, Freddy died this
past Tuesday doing what he loved, flying.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest sympathies and condolences to all who knew him, especially to his wife of over 30 years, Susan, and his two children, Kelly and Ray.
Freddy began flying at the age of 16, hanging around airport hangars at Key West International Airport, exchanging plane washes for flying lessons. In time, Freddy became an aviation legend in Key West.
Freddy helped put Key West on the map by opening ceremonies and competing in airshows with incredible stunts, both high in the sky and frighteningly close to the ground. His skill and enthusiasm for aviation were so ingrained in Key West culture that he was named General of the Conch Republic Air Force.
But, Freddy was more than a talented aviator. He was a skilled and generous businessman as well. As the proprietor of Cabanas Aeronautics Unlimited, he enjoyed providing sightseeing tours of the beautiful Florida Keys, thrill rides to the brave-hearted, and perhaps most of all, giving back to others, from mentoring other pilots to flying supplies to earthquake-stricken Haiti.
Mr. Speaker, the skies above Key West are just a little dimmer today without Freddy zooming overhead, but he will long be remembered for his renowned talent, gregarious spirit, generous heart, and the indelible mark he has left on the cultural fabric of Key West.