Sunday, April 7, 2013
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Jean Claude "JC" Gosselin passed away on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at his home with his family and close friends. Born in Montreal, Canada, on July 24, 1964, he moved permanently to Key West in 1994. He was preceded in death by his father, Gilles Gosselin, and is survived by his mother, Lucette Gosselin, his brother Robert and wife Carol, brother Normad, niece Marlene, and nephews Christian and Yanniek Gosselin. He also leaves an extensive list of friends who were part of his Key West and LaTeDa families.

Jean Claude, a consummate numbers man, received his degree from the University of Montreal. After a long career in the insurance business, he obtained his Chartered Broker license and was vice president of Gosselin Papineau Inc. When he moved to Key West, he converted his Canadian credentials and became finance director for MBA Inc., a health insurance brokerage firm and controller for the infamous LaTeDa. He was naturalized as an American citizen in 2003 to a lot of fanfare upon his return from swearing in.

His most recent unsung hero accomplishment is known to few. With the passing of Mark Barauck (owner of LaTeDa) in 2008, his former partner, friend and employer in all of his businesses, JC did the unimaginable and kept LaTeDa afloat and recently became the controlling owner of the beloved Key West establishment. For that, the community dearly thanks him.

In 2004, he campaigned for King of Fantasy Fest to support AIDS Help Inc., and it was a rousing success. He loved his reign as King of Fantasy Fest with his Queen, Ginger King.

Over many years, after work, he'd sit at his favorite spot in the "By George Bar" at LaTeDa and greet tourists and locals alike, who, invariably, fell in love with his larger than life smile and deep-hearted laugh.

Jean Claude loved golden retrievers. It brought him Ralph, his first goldie, and then Guido, who was a constant by his side. He was a masculine man, but his love of the television show "Golden Girls" and movies such as "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Legally Blonde" ensured we all knew he was truly one of the family. His joy of disco music and tea dances at his beloved Atlantic Shores kept him in a time zone that he fondly remembered. When a song from the past would start playing, the smile on his face was contagious.

Jean Claude loved life and lived it to the fullest. So as Jean Claude would often say, quoting Meryl Streep in "The Devil Wears Prada" and with his eyeglasses tilted in his hand, "That is all."

A celebration of life will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at LaTeDa, 1125 Duval St.