A tribute to one of Flagler’s Finest: Josh Crews

“My name is Josh Crews-do you know who I am?!”

A man that exuded old style southern gentleman charm and hospitality, but suffered a tragic character flaw in his own novel of living life at the edge.

Josh and I first met because of the alphabet and homeroom.  Our last names would bind us together through four years of middle school, but it was the English classes that made me aware of his special powers.  Josh could perform almost any act with a book in hand all the while wearing shorts, even if it was snowing.  Growing up I found myself at odds with Josh more often than not, as we had vastly different opinions, but it was in our debate that Josh and I learned to respect each other and purposely disagree into the wee hours of the night.

Which brings me to life in the latter years with Mr. Crews…What a ride!  As I started to compile a list of moments that we shared, I realized that there are a few standouts…my favorite one was a late afternoon day while driving back from a flower delivery.  I was gazing at the ocean when I spotted Josh laying in the sand…no towel, just laying and sweating in the sand with the tide on the rise…It was funny to see,  but the peculiar part was that his book was quite a distance away.  I couldn’t help myself and marched down to investigate.  Of course, I invariably ended up sitting in the sand too as I questioned Josh about his tossed aside book.  “That book is Garbage!” he stated, “If the author feels the need to use too many words to describe an action then I just don’t have time to read the trash.  If a man see’s a tree, I don’t need two pages of descriptions to explain what the tree looks like!”

I’ll never forget that moment.  I do believe that Josh was the person who inspired my love affair with words and it was his vocabulary that I admired most, but when I get wordy, I remember Josh covered in sand throwing out that book.

There are many more facets to Josh and millions of memories he shared with family and friends, but I believe it was said best by his great friend Joe Rizzo…  “Josh always complained about this one author that died before he finished a series of books and how disappointed he was.  Unfortunately, the best story is going untold.  Josh lived life to the fullest and had no regrets.  I guess we all wanted to read the next chapter because it was such a good book.”

The end of Josh’s life is a tragedy and what’s worse is that his story was never finished…but he will remain forever in our minds as a handsome man with a big pearly smile, relaxing on a porch in his Tommy Bahama uniform, cooling off with a whiskey and a camel, listening to Buffet, reading the next best fiction, and dreaming about dancing with a beautiful, soft, curvy girl.  We will always love you Josh!! Cheers buddy and have a round of red headed sluts waiting for us!

and to Scott, Melanie, Matt, Adam and the rest of your beautiful family…we are all thinking of you…

a facebook page has been established: In Memory of Josh Crews


please leave a story of how Josh embellished your life…


**Update** A writing project has been started in Josh’s honor.  To date it has raised over 50,000 dollars and helped publish two anthologies of writing from our local elementary school talent.  It is now a creative writing club in five schools and growing. Here is a link to the most recent updates and published works… The Josh Crews Writing Project


    • Suzanne Betz

      The words written in this tribute are so incredibly accurate. This gentleman was a man’s man. But even more so, one of the most handsome, happy, helpful ladies man you could ever meet. His zest for love and life will be greatly missed. Cheers Josh! You were loved!

  1. Lisa Tanner

    I don’t remember how I met Josh Crews. When your grandmothers are (literally) best friends and you grow up in a town with 2 traffic light (again, this is without sarcasm), then it is inevitable that you will cross paths. From whatever point was our first encounter it was to grow into a friendship that would be full of many fond memories and halarious stories. Being 4 days older than Josh I used to like to play that card when I felt that I was losing a debate and would suggest that he “respect his elders”; which of course usually got a good and hearty laugh out of him…though most things warranted him letting that infectious laugh run amuck.
    I had an issue with the pronunciation of the word “three” (and a few hundred other words that start with “th”) and ended up in speech class with Josh sometime around the third grade. Now, my sister told me that speech class was for dummies, but I was happier than a squirrel in a bag frull of nuts to be there because Josh was there and in the 3rd grade I had quite a crush on him. We were both in the “gifted” program at the time & this gave me an opportunity to spend some quality time with him away from the rest of the “nerd herd”. And do you know what? I NEVER tried to get better at words that started with “th” because I WANTED to stay in speech class with Josh even though I would have to hear it from my sister when I got home…it was worth it to me.
    In 4th grade we sat next to eachother in gifted much to the dismay of our teacher, Mrs. Anagnostis. We talked too much though I am sure noone reading this would believe that load of crap! In a desperate effort to maintain control over the 10 year olds she was entrusted with to mold into Nobel Peace Prize winners,we were seperated. It sucked and I hated gifted for a few weeks. It wasn’t fun not sitting next to Josh and I was jealous of whoever he was sitting next to, though it changed a lot because some of the other students complained that they couldn’t concentrate sitting next to him so I decided to bargain with Mrs. Anagnostis. I told her to put Josh back where he was before- right next to me; I could do my work with him next to me, and I would try to keep the chatting to a minimum if she would do it-and it worked! Josh was back and school was once again cool.
    If I had 8 more days to write I would go on and on, but in a few minutes I have to go to class.
    One of the last conversations I had with Josh one-on-one was when he invited me to go fishing with him one afternoon before Halloween. I was dressing up as a dominatrix and had to go out looking for the shoes to match the costume and when I told Josh that I had to decline his invitation to go fishing, he screamed over the phone at me “WHAT? Are they having a run on stripper shoes or something?? Get your ass over here and come fishing with me and we will drink a beer!”
    Man, I wish now I had turned around to go drink that beer and sit on the water with my friend but I can’t. I guess I’m just going to have to think of him every time I see those damn shoes and think about how much fun he was making of them without ever having laid eyes on them…and it will be a fond memory just like the rest of them.
    P.S. I can now properly pronounce words beginning with “th”, but I am glad that for a while I couldn’t! =)

  2. carla

    Trying to pick a favorite memory of Josh is like…(insert your favorite applicable Josh one-liner here). His passion, imagination, intelligence, and story-telling capabilities are infectious. I remember when he came to visit me in DC…a shock considering how close to the Mason-Dixon line that city sits. He always swore he would never go north of that Mason-Dixon line. Some friends of mine and Josh went to grab a drink one night. We were waiting to get into the bar when Josh suddenly disappeared. We found him once we got inside a few minutes later. In five short minutes, he had the bartender buying HIM drinks and was entertaining a group of about 5 complete strangers. This was 7 or 8 years ago and my friends from DC still ask me how Josh Crews is doing.

    My husband always knows when I’m talking to Josh on the phone–the decible level goes up and my y’alls and aint’s come flowing back. His energy is so contagious. It’s no wonder that, even though he is no longer with us, he still manages to be everywhere.
    Maggie Mejia

    • carla

      Kimberly Okrenuk
      Josh.. U were definitely taken too soon! I used to love ur warm hugs n kisses (And ALWAYS on the lips..When josh crews kissed u, u better not turn a cheek!) but most of all i will miss ur stories! What i wouldn’t give for josh crews story right now.. RIP josh

      • carla

        Rebecca Jenkins
        I didn’t know Josh as an adult, unfortunately – our family moved from Bunnell to Lakeland when I was 15. But I do remember having Josh in many of my classes, and I remember how nice he was to EVERYONE. The teachers loved him, especially. I remember his sense of humor, and that big smile. My thoughts go out to his friends and family

        • carla

          \Joe Rizzo
          Muted, where do you start? Maybe at 9 years old playing D & D. Do you talk about the one time or the other or the other. Life was different for him. I guess the worst part of this whole thing is we don’t get to tell another story or make one up. I can talk about 25 years of friendship, brotherhood, pals, compadre,or whatever else you can call your best friend. Josh always complained about this one author that died before he finished a series of books and how he was disappointed about that. Unfortunately the best story is going to go untold. Josh lived life to the fullest and had no regrets. I guess we all wanted to read the next chapter in his life because it was such a good book. It had highs and lows but the best part is that he always came out on top. Life without you will never be the same but you will always be in my heart, thoughts, and prayers. How do you end this “ My name is Josh Crews do you know who I am” Love you Bro Riz

  3. carla

    Rob Miller
    One of my fondest memories of Josh was randomly bumping into him and Adam at Green turtle Cay about 14 years ago. I was there with Joel Wilson and as soon as we pulled up to the dock we ran into Josh and Adam. Josh let out a big “wth are you boys doin’ here?” kind of yell with his classic massive smile. Needless to say, I know a group of guys who had an awesome time on Green Turtle that night. I’ll never hit that place again without thinking of Josh.

  4. eric

    Josh was such an amazing person. I used to live with Josh back when he lived on S. 21st street , i rented the downstairs apt for about a year. I turned 21 in that house. Josh kinda became like an older brother to me then. I remember one day a group of us were hanging out on the beach out front of the house and i guess it had been a while since Miah Mahoney had seen me with my shirt off. We all know that Josh was one hairy hairy dude. Anyway Miah looks over at me and says, ” Damn Eric, where did all that chest hair come from? Are they falling through the ceiling?” He looked over to Josh and said, “Are you adding those on to the rent?” Josh’s personality, big smile, and laugh will be missed. Until we meet again Josh.

  5. J. Lee

    I think it’s awesome that Josh was so into books. Not just into them, from what I hear he devoured them! I would like to see a corner of the Flagler Beach Library dedicated to Josh. A quiet corner with a big comfy chair and a recommended reading list full of Josh’s favorite books. The Josh Crews reading Corner.