A Family in Wisconsin Grieves


The Florida Highway Patrol continues to search for what they believe to be a white sedan that took the life of 55-year old Mary Reed while she vacationed on Fort Myers Beach last week. The vehicle hit Reed while she crossed San Carlos Boulevard, then, left the scene of the accident. It was Reed’s first vacation in 15 years. We spoke to her sister about how her family and friends are dealing with the tragedy.

Reed and her sister Laura Blew arrived in Fort Myers on March 7th. They were staying at Latitudes 26 on San Carlos Boulevard, across from Beach Pottery. Blew said they were having a great time on vacation on Fort Myers Beach. “Half of Wisconsin was in town and we had lunch with a friend from Madison at the Shamrock. We swam for about an hour. It was a great day. We made our way home on public transportation. I thought we were making the safe choice. One of the reasons we chose this area was because of the public transportation. I love the beaches but the bumper to bumper is not my cup of tea.”

It was around 7PM on March 9th when Reed attempted to cross San Carlos Boulevard when the unidentified sedan struck Reed and fled the scene. A second vehicle tried to swerve out of the way but was unable to, and also hit Reed. The second vehicle stopped to help. Reed was pronounced dead at the scene.

Blew told Beach Talk Radio News that Mary owned a restaurant in Madison for a time and has worked in few restaurants. “Her followers always found her wherever she was and she made new fans as well. She was a draw. As her clientele grew older but no less in numbers, she had quite a day time crowd. If you ever had a day off you went to her place of employment, Brothers 3, where she was known for her “Mary’s Pretty OK Bloody Mary.” It’s even on a t-shirt here in Madison.”

The NBC affiliate in Madison did a report on Mary’s passing HERE, calling her a ‘bartending legend’ in the area.

Blew says Mary had quite a few younger customers who loved her wit and sage advice. “She was a great bartender and a terrible waitress and she was known for “shout waitressing” where she would literally shout at tables to ask them what they want. Very few people can get away with that kind of thing in the service industry but that was Mary. She was well know for her sense of humor, her great smile, and her gregarious personality, and tough love that she dispensed freely.”

Blew says her family is grieving with an entire city and their phones are ringing constantly. “I can’t describe my pain, there are no words.”

Blew told us Mary left behind a huge loving family. “Two daughters under the age of 20, 18 nieces and nephews, 6 brothers and 2 sisters and many, many, friends that she has collected over the years. I know what happened was awful and I was well taken care after the accident by your fine city, but I hope our loss is an agent of change. There a lot of folks up here on the frozen tundra with broken hearts.”

Anyone with information about the accident is asked to contact the Florida Highway Patrol at *FHP (*347) or SWFL Crime Stoppers at (800) 780-TIPS.


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