Rob Foxx, a Connecticut native, never got to feel the sun and ocean breeze on his face while standing in Key West, the tropical island his friends say he always dreamed of visiting.
But after he died a year ago this March 3 of cancer at age 41, his biker pals decided they needed to make one last trip with the friend they loved.
“Five people, we trailered down from Cocoa Beach,” Scott Adams, 53, said of the group from Wallingford, Conn., that drove a truck some 18 hours down from home and then rode their Harley-Davidsons down the eastern seaboard of Florida for eight hours until they reached the end of the road, Key West.
Behind one bike: A long black casket, inside of which were Foxx’s ashes.
“He was 18 years old and mountain climbing when he fell,” Adams said. “He was paralyzed from the waist down. He used to say, ‘I’m not handicapped, I’m just in a wheelchair.’ ”
But nothing stopped Robert Eugene Foxx, born Dec. 28, 1975, in Middletown, Ohio, from having an active, productive life, one more adventurous than many people who have the ability to walk, his pals said.
Foxx had a Jeep modified so he could go four-wheeling and he rode snowmobiles. He loved playing guitar and video gaming.
“He leaves behind many family and friends that were always inspired by his courageous and light-hearted take on the life he was given,” his obituary read. Foxx died in Wallingford after a brief bout with cancer.
After graduating Meriden High School in 1994, Foxx went on to work for the Hartford Insurance Group. He is survived by his parents, a stepmother and seven brothers and sisters.
“I never saw him get down,” Adams said. “He was an amazing person.”
While in Key West, Foxx’s friends stopped in a few bars for beers. They remembered their friend, and did their best to make good on his wishes unfulfilled in life.
“He always wanted to visit Key West,” Adams said. “It’s not about us, it’s about him. He’s a good kid.”
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen