Milton M. Appel, 97, a lifetime resident of Key West, passed away in his home on Duval Street on Feb. 15. Born in Key West on Nov. 19, 1922, he was the second of four children of Lillie and Rubin Appel.

He was predeceased by his parents and by his sister, Rose A. Moore, his brother, Jack J. Appel and his sister, Betty A. Caplan. He leaves behind his beloved sister-in-law, Eleanor Appel, and his cherished nieces and nephews, Janet Kass (Michael), David Moore (Marianne Fisher), Linda Estroff (Harris), Carol Fischman (Charlie), Richard Moore (Charlotte), Howard Sacarob (Stephen Gass), Steven Appel (Bonnie Lynch), David Appel (Gail) and Barbara March (Allan). In addition, there are two more generations of many nieces and nephews who will also miss their Uncle Milton.

Longtime residents of Key West will remember Appel’s, a family business and department store, founded in 1916 and located at the corner of Duval and Truman. Milton and Jack worked in the store, starting as young men, and ran its operation for decades, ending with their retirement in 1992.

Milton was a graduate of St. Joseph’s School in Key West. He later attended The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, in Charleston. Aside from his college years, he spent the entirety of his life living in the family home on Duval Street. For many years he was an active member of Congregation B’nai Zion and the Lion’s Club of Key West. Every Tuesday for several decades, he joined a team of other B’nai Zion congregants who organized and led community-wide Bingo nights at the synagogue. He was passionate about his garden and was a regular orchid-buying customer at the MARC plant store.

In his later years, he loved sitting on his Duval Street bench, watching the world go by. Several times a week, he followed that with dinner at the neighboring Blackfin Bistro.

Milton was determined to live out his days at home in Key West and was able to do so thanks to the wonderful care he received from Nelsa Oliva, Charles Bruhn, Rosa Mendoza, Luda Logash, Linda Hernandez and the entire Smith family. The family is very grateful for all their hard work and devotion. Special mention, too, goes to Jenna Stauffer and Milton’s great-niece, Iris Moore Smith, a Key West resident. All his life, Milton was known for his generosity and kindness and this spirit was returned to him in his final years by a large community of family and friends.

A memorial service will be held at Congregation B’nai Zion at 750 United St. at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18, followed by burial at the Key West Cemetery. Contributions in his memory can be made to Congregation B’nai Zion.

Posted in: Key News

Posted on: 2020-02-19

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