On the wall inside Islamorada’s Emergency Operations Center at Fire Station 20 hangs a plaque honoring the life and legacy of a former councilman many viewed to be a larger-than-life kind of guy.
Former Islamorada Mayor Mike Forster took to the podium during the village council’s Nov. 19 meeting holding the plaque with the late Ken Davis’ picture and a brief summary of his accomplishments and impact locally. Surrounded by former council members and Ken’s wife, Charlotte Porter Davis, Forster took a moment to read what first responders and emergency personnel will view upon entering the fire station.
Serving as the vice mayor this year to his passing on Sept. 12, Davis dedicated his life to public service, first as a U.S. Coast Guard as an intelligence member and then as an agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Following his 22 years with the DEA, he retired and went to Baghdad as a private contractor charged with coordinating counter intelligence efforts.
For his time in Iraq, he received the Joint Service Civilians Commendation medal and Civilian Global War on Terrorism medal from the U.S. Army.
Elected in 2018, Davis possessed an immense appreciation for Islamorada Fire Rescue for the life-saving care he received upon suffering an aortic dissection on Sept. 19, 2019. He was rushed from the Keys to the hospital, underwent successful surgery and managed to recover despite the low odds among those who have a ruptured aortic valve. Davis wasn’t away from the dais for long, returning for the Oct. 10, 2019 meeting and thanking Islamorada’s first responders for saving his life.
Davis was selected as Islamorada’s vice mayor during the 2020 session. He was running for reelection to seat 4 before passing away from heart failure and a massive stroke.
During council’s Oct. 8 meeting, Forster proposed posting a plaque inside the station in Davis’ honor. The idea was met with unanimous support from the dais.
The Davis family is arranging services for a later date.