Alan Mark Mortimer
Alan passed away on March 29, 2018 in Miami. He was born on November 11, 1958 and was the son of Jack and Ethel Mortimer. He is survived by his husband David Hetue of Fort Lauderdale and his brother Jim and sister-in-Law Sue of Valrico, Florida.
Alan was employed at the Marriott Harbor Beach Hotel in Fort Lauderdale since its opening in 1984, first as a Landscape Supervisor and then as an Engineering Supervisor. His job gave him the opportunity to display and use both his knowledge and passion for landscape design and plants as well as his polite, friendly and helpful manner. Alan attended Norland High School and Broward Community College. In addition to gardening and working with plants throughout his life, Alan also had a love for the beach, cooking and entertaining, the piano and travel.
I spent one-half of my life with Alan. Thirty-five years. We shared so many great moments. We first traveled around Florida. St. Augustine, Pensacola, Gainesville, Kennedy Space Center, Belle Glade, St. Petersburg, the Disney Parks, Florida City, Marco Island, Key West, Miami, Coral Gables, Gould, Hollywood Beach, Palm Beach, Lake Wales…to name a few. We then visited many states and large cities. New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Wisconsin and North Carolina. Alans dream for the last few years was to purchase a summer home (cottage) in North Carolina. On our way to Wisconsin, to visit family and friends, we often stopped in Chicago. This was ‘the City’, the downtown, museums, parks, the zoo, gardens and the food. We ventured to the city of Prague in the Czech Republic for our 25th anniversary. It was a remarkable trip surpassed only by a trip to Thailand a few years later with friends.
One of our favorite places in South Florida was Fairchild Gardens. We were members of this garden for 30+ years. It was a 50-mile trip south that we made several times a year. Early morning was always special. We tried to share this with as many friends as possible. Our membership to this garden had the added benefit of allowing us to visit many other gardens throughout the US. We visited gardens in Arkansas, Chicago, Boston, New York, Madison, Milwaukee and many other places. Alan was always able to teach me something about a plant or its habitat. something which came from a person who wanted to share his knowledge of plants.
Many of those who were able to visit us at our home could see that plants were important to us. It was becoming impossible for us to purchase a new plant—without considering where we would put it and if we would have to “retire” something to make room for a new friend. One of the last accusations, from Fairchild Gardens, was a special papaya plat, which is in a large pot in our front lawn. It’s a hi-bred, everbearing, dwarf hermaphrodite variety. It’s beginning to produce its first fruit.
Alan enjoyed his work at Marriott. He was a Charter employee/member at the Marriott Harbor Beach Hotel on the beach in Fort Lauderdale. After 34 years it was is his second home. There were times it was difficult, but he made many dear friends. Some of those friends moved on and when their paths crossed later in life it was interesting that they remembered the ‘good’ times. Over the years he talked about this his coworkers and some guests, and in time I got to meet many of them. Some guests were thankful for the way he treated them and remembered him with gifts of Jelly beans, gift cards or taking him and a few other employees out to dinner as a special thank you. Many of those friendships remain today. At Christmas time I will have to respond to a few cards with the sad news of Alan struggle the past nine months.
I tried to give you a glimpse of the wonderful person Alan was and of our relationship together. David
Apr 5, 2018 12:20 AM - Entered by: Kay
Dear David, Family and Friends, Alan fought so hard these last months and always had a positive attitude. Alan and I worked together for the last 30 years. I called him my Go To Guy. If you needed something done he made it happen. He also helped me plan a surprise 40th Birthday party for my son Justin, who was also Alan’s friend. Justin said it was his best Birthday ever. Alan love the Caladium Festival in Lake Placid and he would bring me back bulbs. I’ll never look at another one of those flowers, without thinking of him. Alan will be in my heart and my Memories forever.