December 23rd, 2011
David “Paco” Ward, the public face of Carefree Getaways, passed away Monday evening at his home with his wife by his side after a long and brave battle with cancer.
Paco was one of the first people we met on St. John almost 12 years ago, and we could not have had a more appropriate introduction. He embodied everything good about St. John: an unstoppable work ethic, an unselfish willingness to put everybody’s needs ahead of his own and a HUGE zest for life. We should all love life as much as he seemed to.
Paco always had a joke and would laugh at the punchline harder than you. And Paco could fix anything. Maybe not always perfect, but he had what he needed in the back of his Suzuki to fix it.
At St. John Hardware, they called him “5 O’Clock Pac,” because he would race in there at closing time to buy what he needed to race to a villa and turn a crisis back into a vacation…before sunset. That was Paco.
Paco, the first person many visitors getting off the ferry met, is also the most-mentioned person in our guest books. Everybody who did business with Carefree Getaways absolutely loved him.
What you may not know is that Paco was a fierce skier, and in his younger life was a champion competitor on the slopes. He managed a couple of ski trips between remission and recurrence over the last couple of years, and he had tickets for Steamboat Springs in January which he refused to cancel. He did not get to take that last trip.
Everyone who knew Paco has a million Paco stories to tell, and keep telling them and laughing when you do so Paco will always live on with us.
Our love to Paco’s loving wife Cindy. And to Paco, you always had our back and we’ll miss you. Enjoy those slopes in Heaven, where the lift tickets are eternal.