Harvey Backer, 74, of Longboat Key, died July 15.
Born May 22, 1939, in Schenectady, N.Y., he moved with his family to Albany, N.Y., when he was 14 and attended the Albany Boys Academy and Albany High School.
In 1978, Mr. Backer moved to Longboat Key. He was an artist who worked in pen drawings, one of which is in the permanent collection of the Albany Art Institute.
Mr. Backer opened a women’s clothing store called Coco’s in 1980 on Longboat Key that became a fixture over the next 15 years on Gulf of Mexico Drive. He was known by one and all simply as “Coco.” He loved children and had a special toy box set aside for them so that they could play while their mothers shopped. No child left without a gift from Coco.
Mr. Backer also wrote a weekly column in the Longboat Observer that was part advertisement and part stories about happenings on the Key involving locals and tourists.
Mr. Backer is survived by his sister, Sandra, of Princeton, N.J.; one niece; two nephews; and two grandnephews.
Memorial contributions can be made to Tidewell Hospice & Palliative Care in Sarasota, tidewellhospice.org.
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