The following summaries are based on information provided to the Cayman Compass.
Charles Faulkner “Charlie” Dixon was a skilled cabinet maker and woodworking teacher at the Secondary Modern School and Cayman High School in the 1960s and ‘70s, when vocational and trade classes were part of the curriculum. Known to his students as Mr. Charlie, he was respected for his firm but fair approach to imparting his craft. After retirement from teaching, he continued working in a shop he built at his home. He was Cayman Weekly’s East End correspondent in the 1960s.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica on June 25, 1926, the son of Captain and Mrs. George Dixon of East End, Mister Charlie came to Cayman in 1954. He died at home on Jan. 13 at age 90.
David Ebanks was born Jan. 14, 1942, the eldest child of Bertram and Alvernie Ebanks of North Side. His first job, at 17, was with the late Ralph Coatsworth, helping cater to tourists at Rum Point. He then went to sea, achieving the rank of chief mate. Afterward, he returned to tourism and was part of the original Cayman Night promotion in the U.S. From 1980 to 2003, he worked as a contractor, then moved to Sarasota in 2004 with his second wife, Marge.
He died on Jan. 17, Mr. Ebanks was recognized on Heroes Day, Jan. 23, when a Memorial Scroll was presented recognizing his contributions to tourism.
Long-time Cayman resident Lisa Turner died on Feb. 14 after a brief illness following surgery. During her early years on island, she worked at the Smuggler’s Cove Bar, later joining International Design Group. Originally from Canada, she lived here for 25 years and was an ardent supporter of the Humane Society and Cancer Society.
In November, a coroner’s jury retuned an open verdict after learning there was no injury caused by the surgery that would have led to her death. Ms. Turner was 61.
Nell Connor, dubbed “The Queen of Breakers,” died at her home on April 25. She was 96.
In her youth, she assisted her mother, who was a midwife; she worked with her brother cutting firewood and she sewed clothes for herself and siblings. She married Earley Vibert Connor in 1946 and moved to Breakers from East End. She was appointed postal agent for Breakers in 1963 and ran the post office out of her home for 35 years.
Tourists stopped at her home near Lighthouse Club to buy her handmade baskets and whiskbrooms. At Heroes Day in 2014, she received an award for her contribution to promoting and preserving cultural heritage.
Finance lawyer Julian Black died on May 11 at age 48. A former partner at both Walkers and Appleby, and more recently the group director of Estera Trust, he was considered one of the island’s finest advocates.
Born in Portsmouth, England, he joined Walkers in 2000. He was hailed as making a major contribution to Cayman’s success as the leading jurisdiction for structured financial vehicles.
Mr. Black was involved with numerous community causes, including Stay Focused, a charity that helps disabled youth learn to scuba dive.
Hilda McLean died on May 6 at age 104.
Born in St. Mary, Jamaica, she came to Cayman in 1954 as housekeeper to Dr. Paul Magnus. She later worked at the West Indian Club on Seven Mile Beach. In 1968, she moved to the U.S. and worked as a nurse’s aide, returning to retire in Cayman in 1980.
By that time, she had built her own house in Windsor Park. She loved cooking and gardening and was health conscious, trusting to home remedies. Her house was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Miss Hilda became a day care patient at The Pines Retirement Home, where she developed many good friendships.
Businessman Mike Simmons was among the pioneers of Cayman’s infrastructural development in the 1960s and was a founding shareholder of Cayman National Bank.
Originally from Turks and Caicos, he moved to Cayman in 1956. A charter member of the Lions Club, he helped the club get involved in projects to assist people in need as identified by social worker Joyce Hylton, whom he considered his adopted mother. His successful businesses included restaurants and real estate. He died on June 12 at age 81.
Long-time magistrate and judge Kipling Douglas died in Jamaica on June 18 at age 86. A journalist before he went to law school in the U.K., Mr. Douglas practiced law in Jamaica, coming to Cayman as a magistrate from 1983 until 1993. He then served as Chief Justice in Turks and Caicos, retiring in 1996 and returning to Cayman, where he served from time to time on the Grand Court bench. Combining his two professions, he wrote “The Courtroom, the Poor Man’s Theatre.”
In 1997, Mr. Douglas was made an honorary life member of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association.
Dave Ranburn Christian (Feb. 9, 1934 – July 3, 2017) was a jack of all trades and master of many. He began with repairing shoes and barbering, then went to sea with National Bulk Carriers, starting as bedroom steward and working his way up to chief cook. Between voyages he worked in construction and resumed that work after his final voyage, in 1964.
He joined with Tommie Bodden and Jimmy Powell to form Ranja Construction and later worked for other companies. He and his wife owned a cement-mixer rental business; he and his best friend owned a backhoe business. In 2003, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the construction industry. It was presented by Prince Edward.
Richard M. de Lacy, Queen’s Counsel, thespian and musician, died on July 24 at age 62. Educated at Cambridge and called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1976, he moved to Cayman in 2011 after practising before the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in BVI.
He was a founding member of the Cayman Association of Recovery and Insolvency Specialists and deputy chairman of the new Conditional Release Board, interviewing more than 50 offenders and victims before making decisions on release and licensing.
Mr. de Lacy played the viola for Cayman Drama Society productions and acted in several others.
Captain Charles “Chuckie’ Ebanks, 30-year proprietor of fishing enterprise Black Princess Charters, local personality, craftsman and environmentalist, died on July 30 at age 65.
He and his childhood friends made model boats to play with; when he was barely 13, he built his own 12-foot skiff. The West Bayer helped develop the local water sports industry and played integral roles through the years in tourism. He was an early supporter of protective limits for lobster, conch and the Nassau grouper.
Captain Chuckie was on the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame Board and Marine Conservation Board. He was elected president of the National Water Sports Association and served as fisheries officer.
Julene Doris DaCosta was born on Dec. 2, 1958 in West Bay. When she was 11, her father purchased an ice cream business and built it into the Silver Sands Cafe, where she worked for a time. A 1975 graduate of Triple C School, she also worked with the Cayman Times newspaper and then with Cayman Airways as flight attendant. In 1981, she married Loxley Banks.
In 1986, she was admitted to the Cayman Islands (now Truman Bodden) Law School and was called to the bar in 1991, working as Crown counsel until 1997. She used her legal background in serving on government boards and with nonprofit organizations. Mrs. Banks was awarded the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honor in 2010.
She died on Aug. 20, after a 20-month bout with cancer.
Centenarian Lillian Pearson died on Sept. 9, just two days before she would have celebrated her 104th birthday.
She lived through two world wars and several major hurricanes. When she was 28, her husband died in a storm off the coast of Nicaragua, leaving her with six children and another on the way. To make a living for herself and them, she washed clothes, cleaned floors, ran errands and did odd jobs before going back to school and then going to work for British Fidelity.
Miss Lillian said the best part of life was having good friends. She enjoyed sharing Caymanian history and culture with her children and grandchildren.
Commissioner of Police in Cayman from 1973 until 1980, Andrew Greiff enjoyed a distinguished career around the former British colonies. He died on Oct. 13 at age 90.
Born in Burma and educated in England, Mr. Greiff joined the Colonial Police Service in 1947 after three years with the Royal Marines. He served in East Africa, British Honduras and Tonga before coming to Cayman. In those simpler times, the Cayman Islands Police Force under Mr. Greiff was known for being well-organized and highly disciplined.
On retirement, he moved back to England and later to France.
Frank Ellsworth Roulstone Jr., who headed Cayman’s weather service from the early 1960s until his retirement in 1988, died at his home in West Bay on Oct. 26 after a long illness. He was 85.
An American, Mr. Roulstone came to Cayman in 1955. He met and married Beth McTaggart in 1957. He worked at his parents’ Seaview Hotel until joining the weather service, then run by the U.S. government. After training in Texas, he became the first chief meteorological officer of what had become the Cooperative Upper Air Station, with responsibility for the weather station in Swan Island. The weatherman, as he was known, circulated weather information before Cayman had a radio station.
Premier Alden McLaughlin recalled Mr. Roulstone’s care about those less fortunate in the community, his humanitarian service, and the expertise and enthusiasm with which he carried out his work. He called Mr. Roulstone a true nation-builder.
The woman who inspired a movement to legalize medical cannabis in Cayman died on Nov. 8 at age 37.
Lydia Warren’s battle with lung cancer moved her husband, Dennie, to advocate for acceptance of the drug. He and supporters were successful and in October 2016, lawmakers unanimously approved cannabis oils and tinctures with a doctor’s prescription.
Mrs. Warren, a teacher at John Gray High School, and a volunteer with the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, was a finalist in 2014 for the Young Caymanian Leadership Award. She served as chairman of the Primary Literacy Task Force.
Local restaurateur Frank Fleiger died on Dec. 17 at age 55. Mr. Fleiger, who managed the Copper Falls Steakhouse with his ex-wife Dianne Parsons, was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, on Jan. 11, 1962.
He was hired to manage Legendz Bar and Grille in 1996, where he worked until Hurricane Ivan damaged the premises in September 2004 and it had to be closed for a year.
That event spurred Mr. Fleiger to pursue his dream of starting his own establishment, opening Copper Falls on April 4, 2005. One of his peers hailed him as the epitome of professionalism, while his personality made him popular with customers and people who worked in the hospitality industry.
Businessman Christian Sorensen, who designed and operated the Crystal Caves attraction in North Side, died on Dec. 23. He was 53.
Mr. Sorensen, who was born in Denmark, went to live in Barbados when he was 8 years old. His family there developed the highly successful Harrison’s Cave. In the 1990s, Mr. Sorensen conducted a survey of Cayman’s caves and found that those in Old Man Bay were unique and full of historical significance. From 1997 to 2011 he purchased land and built access roads, fully opening Crystal Caves in March, 2016.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism Moses Kirkconnell called Mr. Sorensen “a visionary who exemplified delivering Caymankind to all those who visited his world-class caves.”