With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we here at the Keys Weekly salute the incredible women in our community who provide a backbone for their families and children to flourish. As we heard from all our contributors who submitted pieces for this article, families just wouldn’t be the same without these amazing individuals. Whether they’re here in the Keys today or across the country after helping to raise the men, women and children of Marathon … we salute you, moms. Happy Mother’s Day.



She’s an amazing mom because… She has a good heart and soul and the patience of a saint. She always outfishes me and can always find a wahoo.

Her pet peeves: She can’t stand being late for appointments, and I have to be sure to never mix my laundry with hers!

Submitted by her husband, John Kotch.


Teacher, Coach & Sports Journalist, Marathon High School

She’s an amazing mom because… She always puts her husband and her children in front of her own needs. Her life’s goal is to make sure her children have everything they need in every aspect of their lives.

Her best “mom habit” is… She works very hard to keep up the house, her jobs and making sure the family is taken care of. She does all of this while being a borderline-deranged superfan of all her children’s various teams.

Submitted by her husband, Sean McDonald.


Cosmetologist, Mel’s Hair & Spa

She’s an amazing mom because… She supports me with my pursuit of acting and music.

A pet peeve of hers is… She never likes to wear the same clothes twice. She has hundreds of clothes that she wears to work.

Submitted by her son, Dakota Mertyris.


Administrative director of education, Dolphin Research Center

She’s an amazing mom because… She’d rather spend time with our daughter Kaylynn instead of doing anything else. She even misses her when she’s at work.

Her pet peeve: Not taking off your shoes or sandals at the door when entering a house. Doesn’t matter if it’s your house or someone else’s; you’re tracking in dirt. Footwear off!

Submitted by her husband, Dale Coburn.


Portfolio Manager, Centennial Bank

She’s an amazing mom because… She’s my everything. She makes sure I am happy and safe.

The best thing about mom is… Sundays. She makes the famous “mommy waffles” for breakfast. I love you, mommy!

Submitted by her son, Mateo.


Retired mother and grandmother

She’s an amazing mom because… She’s the best example of selflessness, encouragement and unlimited love.

My best memory of her is… There’s no better partner in crime for bottomless mimosas than my mom. I love you “Magoo.”

Submitted by her favorite daughter, Giovanna.


Vice mayor, City of Marathon

Owner & operator, The Tackle Box

She’s an amazing mom because… She has supported us all, always putting herself last after others. Her love for our family is inseparable. She loves us unconditionally even though she lives in a house full of males – including the dog.

Her best “mom habit” is… Robyn is always looking for something that she put in “a safe place”… that she can never find.

Submitted by her husband, Chris Still.


Fifth grade teacher, Stanley Switlik Elementary

She’s an amazing mom because… She is my best friend in the whole world. If I ever need anything, she is a phone call away. I know I can always count on her.

Her best “mom habit” is… She cannot have a good day or move on with her day without making her bed. The first thing she does when she gets up is make coffee and then make her bed. I think it’s so weird, but there’s proof – when her bed isn’t made, she just isn’t as productive or focused on things. 

I love you mom, thank you for everything that you do!

Submitted by her daughter, Calla Jimenez.


Area sales, Cheney Brothers

She’s an amazing mom because… She loves Roco unconditionally, no matter what he does. She supports him in all the crazy things he does and pushes him to be a better person in life. She truly wants the best for him and it shows, and she won’t miss anything he does.

Her pet peeve is… When we just leave something on the table or floor. When we walk by something and don’t pick it up, she goes nuts. Sometimes we do it on purpose just so we can watch it unfold. (Editor’s note: Bold strategy.)

Submitted by her husband, Tony Piscetello.


Owner, Florida Keys Express Shuttle

She’s an amazing mom because… She is selfless and shows my sister and I unconditional love. She is someone I can go to when I seek guidance, comfort or even just someone to vent to. She’s hardworking, compassionate and makes the best Haitian food in town. All around, she’s just the best woman I could have asked for to be my mother. My dad really did pick a good one.

Her best “mom habit” is… She just loves cleaning at night. I’ll be in my bed at 7 p.m. ready to relax, but nope, it’s cleanup time all of a sudden.

Her pet peeve is… I just asked her, and she said me.

Submitted by her daughter, Marquisha Abraham.


Homemaker extraordinaire

She’s an amazing mom because… We could go on and on about how selfless Mama Rickert is in raising her two kids and giving us a happy, healthy, safe and supportive home. But in recent years, she’s basically made a career out of helping anyone in our near-100-person extended family who could use an extra hand at a challenging point in life, even if that means traveling, staying in other states, and putting her family’s needs above her own.

Some of Mama Rickert’s favorite things include… Wet socks, forgetting to change smoke detector batteries, not wearing helmets, tornado warnings, forgetting sunscreen, and not knowing where the exits to a building are. ***

Submitted by her family.

*** This is all a lie. She is the most safety-conscious individual on the planet.


Office manager, Marathon Seawalls & Docks

She’s an amazing mom because… She always finds a way for all of us to laugh even in stressful moments.

Her best “mom habit” is… She’s adamant about the kids’ nutrition. Fresh foods and fruits and home cooked meals. However, when she’s tired and doesn’t want to “mom,” hot dogs from dad will do!

Submitted by her husband, Javier Reyes.



She’s an amazing mom because… She puts up with my nonsense.

Her best “mom habit” is… She’s nocturnal. She wakes everyone up in the middle of the night cleaning, dropping things or randomly wanting to have a conversation at 3 a.m. It was like living with a raccoon.

Submitted by her daughter, Patti Childress.

Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.