Captain Joe Burnsed, Longtime Sanibel & Captiva Fishing Guide, Passes Away.
After a long illness, Captain Joe Burnsed died peacefully on May 29, 2018, at Shell Point Hospice at the age of 62.
Joe was born on December 12, 1955, in Orlando Florida and grew up there. After graduation in 1974, Joe left Orlando to join the Navy.
Joe and Laurel Kovach, his high school sweetheart, were married during a brief break between Joe’s Navy “Boot Camp” and “A School” training on December 24th, 1974 at the Union Park Nazarene Church by Joe’s father Reverend M.G. Burnsed.
Laurel and Joe celebrated their 43 anniversary last December.
Joe left the Navy in 1985 after more than ten years of service and he, Laurel and Joey, their young son, moved to Sanibel to fulfill Joe’s lifelong dream to become a Charter Captain out of Castaways Marina. Joe had to retire in 2002 due to medical issues and he fought a long, hard battle the last 8 years with end-stage liver disease.
Joe loved God and he truly believed he was going to a better place. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. Joe, Laurel, and Joey spent many long and happy days on the waters of Sanibel and Captiva Islands together. Through hard work and commitment, Joe and Laurel built Captain Joe’s Charters from scratch into a strong family business and a life’s work he was very proud of – as well as many lifelong relationships with his fishing clients, who quickly became fishing companions and friends.
Joe reared Joey, his son, on the boat from an early age as a fisherman, teaching him all the ins and outs of the backwaters of Sanibel and Captiva and the other barrier islands, and, perhaps more importantly, the values of conservation, kindness, and safety for his customers and friends. Captain Joey continues to fish with folks that his father first took fishing as customers more than 30 years ago.
Joe is survived by his wife Laurel Ann Burnsed; his son Captain Joey Burnsed and his wife Crystal; and grandchildren Lexi, Alexander and Jaelyn. Other survivors include Sara Burnsed, his mother; Marilyn Kovach, his mother-in-law; Captain Jim Burnsed (Dall), his brother; Pat Nolen, his sister; and nieces and nephews Captain Jimmy Burnsed (Sarah), Tracy Burnsed (Steve), Amy McKay (Captain Rob), and Andrew Nolen and Robin Gowda (Nanda). Joe had 10 grand nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of life will be held at Sanibel Community Church next Saturday, June 9th, 2018 at 3:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, Joe asked that his family and friends please make donations to your favorite charity or Captains For Clean Water, a cause Joe believed deeply in and which reflects his life’s commitment to fishing and the outdoors.