William (Bill) A. Keyes, Jr., 70, of Ft. Myers died February 14, 2018. He was born in Paterson, NJ in 1947 to the late William and Betsy Keyes. Bill received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Kentucky in 1969. He graduated from the University of Florida Law School with honors and passed the bar in 1972. He has been a practicing attorney with Stewart & Keyes, P.L. Stewart & Keyes, P.L. has a rich history dating back to 1911. Bill has participated in some of Lee County’s largest eminent domain cases, including the construction of I-75, Southwest Florida International Airport, Summerlin Road, Colonial Boulevard, State Road 78, College Parkway and Michael G. Rippe Parkway (Metro Extension), to name a few. Bill negotiated, on behalf of the owners, for the public acquisition of significant properties including: Bowditch Point, Regional Park on Fort Myers Beach; the 200 acre Bocilla Island property on Charlotte Harbor and Jug Creek at Bokeelia; more than 1,000 acres in the Flint Pen Strand; and the Harnes Marsh Preserve. He was previously counsel to the Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office and a founder, officer, and director of Save Our Homes, Inc. which sponsored the “Save our Homes” Constitutional Amendment that Bill authored. That Amendment created a new homestead exemption for Florida homeowners.
Along with his legal work, Bill has served on a number of boards, including the Bob Rauschenberg Center for the Living, AIDS Resource Council (ARC). Bill was a monitor for Florida Lawyer’s Assistance Program, was a charter member of Tiger Bay of Southwest Florida, an officer and director of Southwest Florida Addiction Services (SWFAS), and was an officer and director at SalusCare. He also served as long time outside real estate counsel for Good Will Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc.
Bill is survived by his wife of 36 years, Stephanie of Ft. Myers, two children; Shannon McAleavey (Tom) of Orlando, Fl, and Ashley Keyes of Ft. Lauderdale, two brothers, Michael J. Keyes (Carole) of Holland, PA, and Robert J. Keyes of Ft. Myers, two sisters, Betsy Keyes Savage of North Brunswick, NJ and Kathleen K. Gallagher (Bernie) of Rehoboth Beach, DE, two grandsons, several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and many cousins.
Graveside services will be celebrated 10:00 AM Saturday February 17, 2018 at Ft. Myers Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Please visit www.harvey-engelhardt.com to share a condolence with Bill’s family.