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Dana Stettin remembers from the time she was little her dad imbued her with his business – and really his life – philosophy.

“You work hard and be a loyal person,” she said. “You never tried to take something that’s not yours.”

Marc Port died Dec. 1 at the age of 85, leaving an imprint on Key Biscayne like few others that went way beyond establishing Key Pharmacy as an island institution. His health had suffered the last few years. “I think his body just gave up after a while,” Stettin said.

“I will truly miss Marc Port’s informative Friday morning conversation after he would stop by the Chamber office,” said Tatyana Chiocchetti, executive director for the Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce.  “He did so much for the community, and was a great supporter of the Chamber.”

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Port owned pharmacies up in New York but when relatives started migrating to South Florida, he brought his business acumen – and his family – to Key Biscayne in the early 1980s.

It was a multigenerational family-owned establishment. First his mother and then his wife of 61 years handled the bookkeeping for the store.

When Port suffered a heart attack in 2017, Stettin stepped up to help run the business at 614 Crandon Blvd.. Port then tabbed his grandson, Maxwell, as his heir-apparent as his mother, Stettin, does the bookkeeping. 

On Sunday night, Maxwell Stettin was part of the ceremony lighting the Menorah on the Village Green. Maxwell Stettin said he lit a candle to honor his grandfather.

Key Pharmacy has thrived even when there were predictions that CVS would run it out of business. That’s because Port believed in personal service. Port pivoted the business when needed and always kept the front of the store fresh with products people needed.

“He brought the New York pharmacy down to Miami, which people never knew that type of business existed,” Stettin said.

An active member of the Rotary Club of Key Biscayne, Port made an indelible impression on the organization. It was after Rotary Club meetings, Chiocchetti said, that he would drop by the Chamber’s office for a chat.

“He was always generous,” said Bob Brooks, who met Port through the Rotary Club. “We’ve lost a great one. I think there’s a big void.”

Stettin said when she took over the books it became apparent how generous her father and mother were when she discovered numerous charitable donations. But charity also lent itself to the business – whether it be customers or vendors.

“He would go out of his way to provide customer service,” she said. “If someone needed something delivered, even if he delivered it on his way home, he would do it because he would say people needed it.”

And then there was that loyalty. She recalled when a vendor wanted him to put an item in the store and she argued against it to her father, saying it wouldn’t sell or the store already had similar products. 

“And he would say, “Give it to him, give him a small order, that guy has been loyal to me for 30 years,” Stettin recalled.

Port is survived by his wife, Andrea; his daughter, Dana; and six grandchildren. A son, Brian, preceded him in death 11 years ago.

A well-attended memorial service was held on Dec. 4 at Star of David Memorial Gardens Cemetery and Funeral Chapel in North Lauderdale. The family asked contributions in Marc’s memory be made to the Rotary Club.

“My father put his blood, sweat and tears into that business. It wasn’t just handed to him,” Stettin said. “He was a good honest businessman.”

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JOHN PACENTI is the executive editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.

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JOHN PACENTI is the executive editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.