At age 8, Dekle began working in the family food service and cold storage business with seafood, produce and meats — performing tasks such as sweeping the warehouse floor, helping pack potatoes, driving a forklift and unloading food.
“We learned how to work hard and we learned how to work long hours. When you have your own business, you have to know how to do everything yourself,” he explained.
Much of Dekle’s career was spent around Mobile operating cold storage facilities. He moved to the Keys from Bon Secour, Alabama, where he was vice president of operations at Bon Secour Fisheries, established in 1892.
One of Dekle’s favorite movies is “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” because he shares similar numerical abilities with the main character — known as a mathematical genius.
Dekle and wife Gloria have two grown children and two grandchildren, and have settled in Islamorada to enjoy a Keys lifestyle of “living in paradise.”
His motto: “Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. Don’t take anything for granted; appreciate everyone and everything in your life. Have no regrets!”
Where he dines: Keys Fisheries in Marathon and Lazy Days and Square Grouper, both in Islamorada.
Where he explores: On the water by boat and by kayak.
How he relaxes: On sunset cruises and spending time with his wife.