Martin Kay, who lived in Key West for nearly 20 years, died peacefully at home on Saturday, December 21, 2013. He was surrounded by friends and family including husband Jon Allen of Key West and brother Roger Kay of Chelmsford, England. A designer, real estate developer and landscape architect, Martin was a well-known and beloved wit and friend in his adopted hometown.
Martin, 60, was born in London and earned a diploma from the prestigious Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. Gifted with a love of flowers, people and design, Kay opened Arcadia Flowers in West London.
The successful shop grew into the stylish boutique VASE Flowers in central London. Adding stationery and gift packaging to his sought-after floral arrangements, the company eventually opened five shops in London.
Working with partner Jon Allen, Martin later helped create Jouralle, a fashion footwear brand for women.
Martin developed marketing concepts, branding and designed lines of shoes for the company. Jouralle was sold to British Shoe Corporation, the U. K's largest maker of women's footwear which distributed Martin's designs worldwide.
Plans for a memorial for Martin will be announced in the coming weeks.