OBITUARY

Fr. Edward G. Pick

February 22, 1935March 27, 2021

Father Edward G. Pick, founder and Pastor of St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Church on Longboat Key, died March 27, 2021, at the age of 86.

Born in 1935 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Fr. Pick was the youngest of the three children of Herbert and Madeline Pick. At an early age, he and his family moved to Miami. Years later, at the urging of his uncle, Monsignor Edward Freking, he returned to Ohio and began his studies for the priesthood at St. Gregory’s Minor Seminary. Following graduation, he was accepted at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West, also in Ohio. In 1960, Fr. Pick was ordained into the priesthood at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati.

His first assignment was to Sacred Heart Parish in Lake Worth, Florida, followed by an assignment to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Miami. Thereafter, he served at St. Joan of Arc parish in Boca Raton, where he also served as Chaplain at Mary Mount College, and Newman Chaplain at Florida Atlantic University.

In 1966, he became Assistant Pastor at St. Sebastian’s in Fort Lauderdale, followed in 1968, by his appointment as Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Punta Gorda, and Our Lady of Mercy Chapel (a Mission Church) in Boca Grande.

In 1973, there came a move which would change Fr. Pick and Longboat Key forever. He was offered the extraordinary opportunity to build a church and a church community on that idyllic island. Years earlier, Archbishop Hurley of St. Petersburg had purchased a 12 ½ acre site right in the center of the island. Fr. Pick quickly arranged to purchase it from the Diocese. Upon arrival on the key, he and his mother moved into a small house on Denarvaez Dr. just a bit south of Whitney Beach. Arrangements were made to rent a small room at the local firehouse every Sunday morning where Mass was offered for local Catholics, as well as for a flock of peacocks who, on a regular basis, strolled up the center aisle to hear Fr. Pick’s sermon. Daily Masses were celebrated at the Denarvaez house.

The pastor and parishioners began the formidable task of building a church and a church community. The first Mass in the new church was celebrated on May 27, 1978, and the formal dedication ceremonies took place on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, forever more considered as founding date and Parish Feast Day. A unique attraction of the church is the sanctuary mural, painted by Frank Hopper, honoring the Eucharist as depicted in the 6th chapter of John’s gospel. In addition, Fr. Pick personally planted and cared for the glorious Indian Banyan trees arrayed at the front of the property along Gulf of Mexico Drive.

Once asked to describe the most memorable moment or event in his life, he answered, “For me, it was my ordination in 1968. But it makes one think. There are so many turns in your life. I am here, but with another turn in my life, I could have been somewhere else. If I had to choose, I would not be anywhere else but on Longboat Key.”

Visitation will be held on Tuesday April 6th from 4pm to 6pm with a Wake Service at 6pm at St Mary, Star of the Sea, 4280 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. Funeral Mass will be held Wednesday April 7th at 11am St Mary, Star of the Sea, Burial will be private.

Funeral Arrangements by Robert Toale & Sons Funeral Home at Palms Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Tuition Fund, in honor of Fr. Pick. To donate online, please go to https://stmarylbk.weshareonline.org/index.aspx or St Mary, Star of the Sea, 4280 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, FL 34228.

Services

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021

  • Wake Service

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Fr. Edward G. Pick

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Mark Whiteleather

April 8, 2021

We have been traveling to Longboat Key for many years and always looked forward to seeing and speaking with Fr. Pick. Such a true gentleman and welcoming presence We appreciated his homilies and his sense of humor. How fortunate Longboat is to have had him create such a wonderful faith community. We miss him.

Mark Young

April 7, 2021

I have known Fr. Pick for years since we been coming down to Florida for our summer vacation.. Every time when we go to St. Mary's, he always has the time to say hello to me and see how am I doing. He has a special place in his heart to say hello to my family and to me.. He had seen me grown up throughout the years. Now, he will be missed by my family and for me. Not only by us, for the vacationers who sees him frequently.. Fr. Pick, you have given us the love and your special time just fo us. You will be missed. God bless Fr. Pick and Godspeed.

Cheryl L

April 3, 2021

As children, we listened to Father Pick as he said the mass in the firehouse on Longboat Key. We probably were a little afraid of him. Not only was he very tall, but he had, what seemed to us, a loud, booming voice that billowed "The Lord be with you" at the beginning of mass. No one greeted the congregation as he did. He certainly caught our attention. No one could say mass like he did. He could seemlessly move from informally discussing the articles and events mentioned in the church bulletin to giving the homily in a very erudite and expert way. He was the epitome of the good priest or good shepherd yet he also could be very funny and make us really laugh. He will be dearly missed. The Church will not be the same without him. Both he and Father Gerry were synonymous with St. Mary Star of the Sea Church and Longboat Key. May he rest in peace. He was a wonderful person and a great man. Father Pick's absence will be felt for a very very long time by the entire congregation. [If Father Pick's dog is still alive, I do hope that this beautiful creature finds a good home and new loving, caring companion who knows how to mend this dog's broken heart.]

lee Doughrty Ross

March 30, 2021

Such a loving person, wise and so dear, is a gift from God... and Father Pick was that gift to me and so many. Heaven is even more glorious with him there.

Mary Spangenberg

March 29, 2021

Fr Edward Pick “Uncle Eddie” was my very wonderful uncle. I have so many wonderful memories of him and I exploring Florida when I visited Long Boat Key every year, from childhood, until just last year.
He was an inspiration to me for “keeping the Faith” no matter what hardship life may bring your way.
I experienced him and my Grandmother grow St Mary’s from its start in a firehouse for daily mass , to having mass his small house rectory before the new church and rectory were built. What a magnificent church and parish center he cultivated, with wonderful people and beautiful art work.
He was a pillar of St Mary Star Of The Sea congregation, with his memorable sermons to his classic “Peace be with you” in his powerful voice.
He was the Lords Shepherd, spending his life bringing people to the Lord.
He baptized me, was my Godfather and performed my marriage ceremony.
He was my “Uncle Eddie” and I loved him dearly.

James Barrios

March 29, 2021

Father Pick was a Long Boat Key institution. For our family, we had the honor of attending mass when he presided, many times going back to the mid 70's (and even after he retired, we would see him at the Tiffany Plaza, walking his dog, relaxing in the pool, welcoming conversation generously...). His homilies always stuck with you, and his delivery was unique and unforgettable. His intonation would change--take on a greater gravitas--when he began to deliver his actual homily, after warm and inviting introductory comments. His homilies were usually very sincere, true to the faith (he did not water things down, or sugarcoat matters), and on topic (related to the Gospel and readings). It was an honor to have seen him in action, to attend mass when he presided, and a pleasure to know him outside of church as well. God bless Monsignor Pick, and keep his soul. While we mourn his passing, we celebrate the warm embrace he will surely receive, as he is welcomed with those hard earned words we should all hope and strive to hear when our time comes: "Well done, my good and faithful servant...".

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY