Chapter Mourns The Loss Of Two Golf Legends

Categories: Palm Beaches

Our Chapter recently lost two dear friends and supporters who knew each other well and loved and respected the game of golf.

Richard Ekey (pictured above left) was simply the ultimate grinder. After 14 months in ICU, he was called to the Lord on March 24th. He learned his love of golf from his father and felt compelled to share it with others, including our Chapter students and veterans.

Richard was a beacon of hope to many. He was a member of the Christ Fellowship Church, Founder of the Men’s Branch of Triumph over Suffering, Co-founder of the Cancer Support Group of Palm Beach Gardens, Board member of the Big Heart Brigade, Member of the Board of Directors for the Gathering Palm Beach County, Former Officer, Board Member, Chairman and Class of 2000 Hall of Fame Member of the Palm Beach County Golf Association.

“Richard was my mentor and one of my closest friends,” said Chapter Executive Director Carl Mistretta. “He was my first volunteer and cut the fairways to help out in my early days before we could afford full-time maintenance staff. Riding the mower was his time for meditation and to speak with the Lord. He pushed our entire staff to raise the bar and become a leading First Tee chapter in the country.”

There will be a celebration of life for Richard at First Tee – Palm Beaches in Dyer Park for Richard this Friday, April 23rd at 6:00pm. Please contact carlm@firstteeflgoldcoast.org for more information.

Larry Bush (pictured above right), covered golf in Palm Beach County for more than six decades, died in his sleep on March 19th at the age of 87.

The longtime West Palm Beach resident started working for the Palm Peach Evening Times in 1958. Bush also worked for newspapers in Tampa, Fort Pierce and Cocoa before becoming a freelance writer in 1981.

If there was a local golf tournament in the county, Bush was invariably there covering it. His knowledge, history and perspective of the game made him a favorite among golfers, from legends such as Jack Nicklaus to the average amateur or PGA Professional.

His work was honored by the Golf Writers Association of America, the Florida Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association, the Florida Press Association, and he also received the Harry C. Eckhoff Award from the National Golf Foundation.

Mr. Bush was inducted into the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, and into the Palm Beach County Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2010.