Boaters from Prince William County to Alexandria paid tribute to Fay Egbert "Deac" Heath last Saturday afternoon along Alexandria's waterfront in a floating procession honoring the city's late dockmaster. Heath, 59, died on the city docks March 28 of a massive heart attack.
A memorial service was held at Pier A/B followed by a procession of 14 boats led by Alexandria Fire Department's fireboat. A backdrop for the procession was created by District of Columbia fireboat, John Glenn, spraying its water cannons.
Roses were cast into the water from each boat as it passed Heath's former marina office on city dock. His wife, Mona, and other family members were transported by R&R Belmont Bay Marina Charter Boat during the procession.
"I am amazed at the number of friends Deac had. No wonder he loved his job so much," said Mona Heath.
"I've been a slip holder since 1999 and was new to boating. Deac gave me a slip where he knew I would be comfortable docking and always seemed to be there to help," said Old Dominion Boat Club member Steve Bell.
"I knew Deac for 13 years. He was always helpful and everyone liked him. He was just an all-around great guy. He will be missed," said Capt. Rodney Masser, Station 201, Alexandria Fire Department Marine Operations Team.
Following the parade of boats a reception was held at the Old Dominion Boat Club to honor Heath's memory and dedication to river boaters. "He added a personal touch to the City Marina and was an icon up and down the river," said Lorraine Lloyd, commodore, Old Dominion Boat Club.