KIT CARSON CODY
Kit Cody 145/4433, of Winter Haven FL and Cody WY, died tragically at age 67 in a plane crash on February 14, 2013. He was flying his Cessna 310 home from the Bahamas with his brother, Barry 145/4434, and friend Rob Krieger, when the plane crashed near Vero Beach in the Fort Drum Conservation Area in Florida.
Kit was born in Orlando, Florida on April 22, 1945. He attended High School in Winter Haven, FL and enlisted in the Army in 1964. Kit was stationed in Mainz, Germany and was a Paratrooper in the 509th Airborne Infantry, where he met his lifelong friends, Glenn Rice of
Cody and John Syktech of California. During this time he acquired a love for skydiving and European culture. He was honorably discharged in 1967 with the rank of Sergeant.
Kit met the love of his life, Linda, in California in March, 1971. They married three months later, on June 26, 1971 in Cody, WY. Kit and Linda had two children, Kellie and Kevin, and raised their family in Cody. Kit was a motivated, hard working and creative entrepreneur, owning several businesses in Cody, WY over the years. He pioneered the sport of whitewater rafting in Cody with Shoshone River Float founded with brother Barry in 1967, and led many family members on their first thrilling ride.
But he focused primarily on the motel business over the last 30 years, owning properties in Cody and in the Central Florida area. In 2004, Kit proudly declared himself "Retired" and devoted his time to family, friends and fun.
Kit became involved with the International Cody Family Association in 1993, was elected President in 2000 and hosted the 2002 Reunion at Winter Haven. Linda served as Secretary from 2003 to 2012. He stepped down in 2012, but the membership elected him Vice President anyway and with typical grace, he accepted.
While living in Cody, Kit loved serving the community. He became the youngest Chamber of Commerce President in 1976, served 10 years as the local American Legion Commander and enjoyed serving on the VFW Honor Guard the last several years, carrying the flag in the Fourth of July parade.
A compassionate soul, Kit naturally had an interest in health care. He attended the Northwest Community College Nursing program and served as an EMT for the Cody Ambulance. He also volunteered at the Nursing Home where he was known to lift spirits with his sense of humor and caring touch.
Kit will be especially remembered for his adventurous spirit. So filled with energy, he enjoyed flying, motorcycling, skydiving, scuba diving, boating, water skiing, downhill skiing, hiking and backpacking in the mountains. He and Linda also loved to travel and had many grand adventures all over the world.
Those close to Kit say "there was no better man" and he will be dearly missed. His life would seem too short to many. However, those whose lives were touched by him understand that the quality of existence far exceeds the quantity of time in which one lives.
Kit is preceded in death by his parents, William "Bill" Garlow Cody 145/443 and Dorothy (Reese) and his brother, John (Jack) Garlow 145/4432. Kit's brother, Barry 145/4434, died alongside him in the plane crash. Kit is survived by his wife, Linda, daughter Kellie (Bryan) Edwards 145/44331 of Cody, son Kevin and (Natalia) Cody 145/44332 of Atlanta GA, brother Bill Garlow 145/4431 of Cody, his 5 beloved grandchildren, Alex, Emilie, Andrew, Kylie and Tyler, nieces, nephews, cousins and many treasured friends. Kit was a great-grandson of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody 145/4 through his grandmother, Irma Louise 145/44. The Irma Hotel in Cody is named for her.
For more about this sad event as reported in the Polk County Ledger, the Cody Enterprise and the North Platte Telegraph, click on each newspaper's name. You can search them with "Kit" for follow-up stories.
A Funeral Mass will be held for Kit in Cody WY, at St. Anthony's Church on Saturday March 2 at 10 a.m.
Donations may be made to Polk State College Foundation (Student Pilot Program) in loving memory of Kit C. Cody 999 Avenue H NE, Winter Haven, FL 33881. Attn: Tracy Porter 863-297-1071