I was asked to post this Eulogy by a close friend.
Roger Best, of Hope Idaho, a long time visitor to Ambergris Caye, passed away during Thanksgiving week this year. He will be truly missed by all who have known and loved him. Roger first came to San Pedro town in the early 1990’s while recovering from hip replacement surgery. He and his wife Jan stayed at the Paradise Villas condo of Herman the German. He fell in love with the beauty, people and the weather of Belize. Roger and Jan have been a permanent fixture at the Hicklin House in Tres Cocos during the month of February or longer every year since that first visit. It was obvious after that first visit that some sort of boat would be a necessity so on the next trip Cap’n Rog and crew brought an inflatable boat and motor as excess baggage on the plane. As they were seen bouncing around the waters in the “yellow ducky” they became known as the Raft People to the inhabitants of Tres Cocos.Later the name morphed into Riff Raff and it has been that way ever since.
The yellow ducky was adequate transportation for several years and even made several trips around the island much to the amazement of the locals. But a larger boat was in order.so in the mid 90’s Roger and Jan and another couple bought an ancient Cadillac, put a car top carrier on it and overloaded it with a larger inflatable and motor , dive gear and all their personal luggage and made the 3500 plus mile trip from Hope Idaho to Xcalak Mexico. They hitched a ride on a Ponga to Tres Cocos and the “Grey Whale” began to ply the waters of Ambergris Caye. More recently, when Elma Taylor moved to the Bahamas, Cap’n Rog acquired her 13 ft Boston Whaler and that has been the transportation of choice ever since. William (Buddy Boy) Valentine is the caretaker of the boat the “Thank You” when the Bests are out of the country and he has done an excellent job of keeping the craft in sea worthy condition.
During the many years that Roger and Jan have been staying in Tres Cocos, Roger met and befriended dozens of people. Part time and full time residents, as well as, the many local people he had contact or dealings with. He was a bright spot in all their lives and universally loved by all the people with whom he had a relationship.
Bon voyage Cap’n Rog. Words cannot describe how much you will be missed.There is a hole in the universe where your shining light existed and no one or no thing can replace it.