By Sharon Elster, Editor
Vernon Cecil Garraway, longtime resident of Sunny Isles Beach passed away peacefully at home on November 8, 2013. He was 80 years old. Mr. Garraway was born in Guyana, South America and educated in London where he obtained his Electrical Engineering Degree. He served in the British Military. His distinguished 45 year career in engineering design and management included power plants and shipbuilding.
Mr. Garraway moved to South Florida in 1989 and purchased the 45 room Chelsea Hotel in the Art Deco District, becoming the first black man to own a hotel on Miami Beach. A hardworking and successful businessman, Mr. Garraway also owned and managed apartment buildings. The Miami Herald recognized his many accomplishments in an article written by Tony Pugh in 1994.
Mr. Garraway was a charter member of the Miami Beach Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club – a group of concerned citizens proactively working and sharing their knowledge for the betterment of the local area. He was also a Board Member/Director of the Miami Beach Hotel Association and Board Member of the State of Florida Hospitality Industry Council.
Mr. Garraway was a fierce advocate for honesty and decency focusing much of his time and energy toward improving the quality of life in his condominium. His intelligence, determination and initiative made a difference and earned him the respect, friendship and affection of his neighbors.
Mr. Garraway leaves behind four daughters, one son and two grandchildren. He will be dearly missed and remembered by all who knew him.