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Spotlight on Grown up Islanders: Steve Honc

January 15, 2020
By PAULETTE LeBLANC (pleblanc@breezenewspapers.com) , Pine Island Eagle

If you find yourself on the island side of the Matlacha Bridge, you've likely heard of the Honc family. In 1914, Steve Honc's great grandfather, Vince Honc Sr., moved to Pine Island, beginning what would become the family's rich history on the islands.

Steve talks about having been a kid who knew the kind of freedoms that come with island life in a world where much has changed.

"I loved growing up out here," said Honc. "It's a great place to grow up-quiet and remote. I loved everything about it from boating and playing in the woods to riding four-wheelers, and everything else that kids do-with lots of room."

Article Photos

Steve Honc and his wife Natalie, along with sons William (11), Daniel (7) and Luke (2). Infant Whitney Nicole is not pictured.

PHOTO PROVIDED

He attributes his work ethic to having grown up around a great deal of like-minded, hard working people. Though he admits, since he was raised here, he can't speak from anyone else's perspective about what it might be like to grow up in a city or a suburb.

"Here, you were always surrounded by honest, very down-to-earth, hard working people," said Honc. "I think that's a good environment. My father, though he was very open-minded, taught us that you go to work no matter what. There are no excuses for not going to work. I started working part-time in the afternoon for my father when I was in high school, and then moved on to full-time as soon as I graduated. I've worked since I was a teenager."

Honc recalls that perhaps his best memories of growing up here are of playing baseball, going to Cayo Costa State Park to play on the beach and playing out in the woods in Bokeelia. Having the freedom to go outside and play as a child helped shape his most formative years.

"I'm leery of letting my own kids walk down the side of the road," said Honc. "The world is just a different place now, 30 years later. My memories are having the freedom to go play outside and move around without any major concerns."

Growing up on Pine Island, away from the rest of the world, has given Steve a unique vantage point, in that he is able to see both views of the place he, his wife Natalie and children, William (11), Daniel (7), Luke (2), and infant Whitney Nicole call home. Though he understands and enjoys the privacy island living offers, he admits that he loves the winter when it's busy, as well. In fact, something people might not guess from a casual glance is that Steve says as much as he enjoys the rural nature of Pine Island, he also enjoys traveling and exploring big cities.

"I think because it's the complete opposite of how I was raised, and what I live every day of my life. I enjoy the contrast," said Honc.

To people moving here or visiting, Honc points out that there's a lot to choose from. The diversity offered here extends from large tracks of land out in the private woods, to canal homes, or bay-front homes. He acknowledges that there's a lot to do and enjoy here.

"Everyone wants to know the pros and cons between Bokeelia and St. James City," said Honc. "I always tell people it's a different vibe. Bokeelia is quieter-a little more laid-back, and St. James City leans a little more toward Snowbirds, and Northerners-nothing wrong with either one, but they definitely have their own vibe. You're going to have good boating access on either end. Whatever vibe you want to feel is the end of the island you should go for. It's just a great place to grow up."

 
 

 

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