Monday, April 2, 2012

Mourning The Loss Of Bill Sharpe, Community Leader and Bicycling Supporter In Tampa

Today is a heatbreaking day for Tampa.

My heart sank when I read that Bill Sharpe, publisher of the South Tampa Community News, has committed suicide.

Bill also published the Tampa Epoch newspaper, which was sold at city street corners. Bill was a community leader and supporter of bicycling in Tampa. He was 59.

I wrote stories on bicycling for Bill for his South Tampa Community News and I was happy to say that Bill participated in the Bicycle Bash festival.

Bill was a doer. Bill also put on a blues and barbecue festival and a recent seafood festival in downtown Tampa and offered me the use of his newspaper office space for any bicycle events.

Bill was a wonderful friend who attended LatkeFest.

The Tampa Bay area has lost a very decent man and a community leader and I mourn Bill's loss. RIP Bill Sharpe. It is a sad day.

This photo was taken from Bill's blues and bbq event last October.

Added Tuesday 10:45AM
It's sad that the media, in reporting Bill's death has focused on his role in creating the Tampa Epoch.

Bill did a lot more than that. He worked selflessly in putting on a Blues and BBQ event last October at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa and just recently put on a seafood festival at the same park. He invited me to have free space at both events to spread the word about bicycling in Tampa Bay.

Bill was a big supporter of bicycling. He participated in an event last May when Mayor Bob Buckhorn led a bike-commute group of cyclists to highlight bicycling in Tampa and he had a space at the 2010 Bicycle Bash to tell people about the South Tampa Community News and bicycling.

Bill also held a series of business networking mixers at local restaurants and worked hard to making Tampa a better place to live.

The media -- and I used to be a newspaper reporter -- is adroit at honing in on the most controversial and unsettling moments in people's lives. In this case, Bill Sharpe should be remembered as a man who cared deeply about Tampa and his community and he showed his caring with actions, not words.


Jon Palmer Claridge said...

This is incredibly sad news. I hope others who are suffering will reach out.


My client, sometimes mentor, and friend Bill Sharpe- May you rest in Peace, knowing you touched SO many lives... I am glad to have known you- A wonderfully sweet man... you helped keep me in business all these years- ALWAYS affording me your t-shirt business- and making me feel a part of all your big events....Thank will not be forgotten.