Albert “Red” Stier loved to be on water and almost any day was a good day for fishing.
The icon in the local fishing community died on Wednesday in the hospice unit at Physicians Regional Collier as a result of Alzheimer’s, his wife Sharon said.
As a 13-year-old he and his parents came to Naples from Ohio. In the 1950s his parents ran the concessions at Naples Pier. The family has a photo of Stier after hauling in a huge goliath grouper, larger than himself.
The Stiers owned a gas station in 1960 when Hurricane Donna caused a great deal of destruction. The Stiers sealed their gas tanks, which made them one of the few gas stations open after Donna.
Stier got his first chances to extoll the qualities of the environment, particular in the area of conservancy, on a high school radio program, Sharon Stier said.
He went on to having a TV show in the 1970s and later in the 2000s, called Angler’s Outlook, the same name for his Marco Eagle column that he wrote for more than 25 years.
He became a stockholder in the Marco River Marina, constructed in 1966. He was the sales manager for many years. Anna Szedelyi worked for Stier for many years when he was boat sales manager.
“I called him Papa Red,” she said. “His dying is an end of an era.”
The late Bill Rose, who had been involved in the marina, purchased it in 1999, later changing the name to the Rose Marina.
Bill Walsh, a charter captain on Marco Island for 21 years, recalls how Stier gave him a helping hand getting started.
“He would show me the good places to fish and you could ask him about almost anything and he would give it to you straight.”
Walsh was on Stier’s TV show many times. “He was not afraid of confronting people when there was an issue involving protecting the fisheries,” Walsh said. Walsh recalled a time when the Marco charter boat captains were putting on a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Hospital.
“He had me on and gave the event a lot of publicity,” Walsh said.
Rodger Parcelles of Sunshine Tours on Marco Island, who has charter boats and a favorite tourist excursion, the Marco Island Princess, had his memories of Stier.
He spoke of how Stier promoted cobia tagging for research, or how he gave Parcelles time on his TV show to promote charitable events.
“When it came to a charitable events he was always ready to help,” Parcelles said.
And Stier knew how to catch fish.
Stier often did a promotion where viewers sent in to be part of a drawing for a day of fishing.
He helped a lot of people learn how to catch fish and fish properly,” Parcelles said.
On one of those trips, in a Parcelles charter, they caught plenty of fish.
“Most TV shows have to go out three days to get enough fish for a show,” Parcelles said. “When Red went out in my charter his guests caught enough for three shows.”
He said Stier was good for business.
“When people are successful at catching fish they are more likely to come back for vacation,” Parcelles said.
Son Steve enjoyed going out fishing with his dad. “We were very close and there are many photos of us fishing, he was just a good father,” Steve Stier said.
He said his father was one of the early supporters of reef programs in the county.
“He was strong supporter of conservancy, saving the resource,” Steve Stier said.
Mrs. Stier said her husband will be cremated. Garfield Funeral Care in Naples is in charge of arrangements.
Stier is survived by his wife, son, grandchildren Steven and Kyle of Naples, and a step-sister Patricia Jenkins of Melbourne, Florida.
As one friend recalled, Stier signed off his television show with “catch ya later.”