OBITUARY: MICHAEL BARRY INGRAM


MICHAEL BARRY INGRAM
May 11, 1944 – Oct. 21, 2023

On Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, Michael Barry Ingram, resident of Key West, passed away at age 79. He was the beloved son of the late Edward and Jeanette Ingram and brother to Donald and the late William Ingram.

Michael is survived by his former wife Patricia Ingram, children Harper Ingram Wong, Kimball (Melissa) Ingram and grandchildren Garrison, Conner, Derek, Eliza and Izabella. He leaves many relatives, countless friends and loved ones across the country and in the Key West community. 

Michael Ingram was a one-of-a-kind, multitalented man — architect, business guru, interior designer, mentor, chef and a true advocate of Key West. He was always a gentleman, but could be naughty and, at times, downright silly. He had a keen sense of humor and a bountiful spirit about life and his role in it.

Michael spent his early years in New York and New Hampshire. After graduating from Cornell University (’68), he began his architectural career in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he found his love of protecting historic buildings with projects in the Amoskeag Millyard of Manchester and the surrounding cities. During his time as a state representative, he helped craft one of the first bills to address disability access in architectural design, a model used when crafting the ADA at a national level. He was passionate about historical preservation and protecting the rights of the underserved throughout his life.

Like so many gay men at the time, Michael was looking for a place where he could be himself during a time of judgment and fear of the gay community. In 1990, he moved to Key West to “retire” with the purchase of Alexander’s Guesthouse on Fleming Street. He was characteristically busy in “retirement,” and for the next 30 years, he expanded Alexander’s, reestablished his architectural business, served as the director of Key West Business Guild, Key West Planning Board, Tourist Development Council, Historic Architectural Review Committee and was involved in many, many other community endeavors. Two of his most cherished achievements were the Key West AIDS Memorial and chairing the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, which supports hundreds of Florida Keys nonprofits. 

Michael was dedicated to the Key West community and was recognized with many awards for historic preservation and design, including the Key West Steam Plant project and many Key West houses and civic buildings. His footprint on the island will be a lasting legacy. 

In his later years, Michael acquired Aquaplex on Duval Street and helped support and preserve drag in Key West and continued to promote the island as a destination for the LGBTQ+ community. 

He was busy as ever during his last year, moving to Wilton Manors, Florida to be close to friends and support and finish up a renovation project in Vermont. His energy, zest for life, cooking, design talent and sense of humor will be deeply missed by family, friends and colleagues.  

A service will be held at the Key West AIDS Memorial on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 4 p.m. Everyone is welcome. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the Key West AIDS Memorial or to the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys in Michael’s memory.