Winter visitor returns (again): 101 year-old has visited Cape Coral since 1965
A winter visitor, who has been traveling from Kentucky to Cape Coral for more than 40 years, arrived last week with his wife thanks to the help of his nephew.
Irwin Weyer was born in Indiana and moved to Kentucky in 1936. His first trip to Cape Coral occurred in 1965 after he won a trip including two nights at a club house.
He served in the Navy in WWII for 31 months before he was discharged in 1945. Irwin said he maintained a hospital in Africa and helped load the ships with materials. He was in the water, perhaps, for nine months and was there during the invasion of Italy.
In 1946, he became a building contractor and built five subdivisions and many apartments before retiring many years later.
He eventually built a house in Cape Coral, so he could spend six months here and the other six in Louisville. Irwin said he wanted to buy a lot because he knew everyone would start wanting water lots.
“There were 10,000 people when I first started coming here,” he said about the city’s population.
Irwin said they would always drive back home before the Kentucky Derby was held, so they could hold Derby parties at their home and watch the race on television.
Irwin, now 101, decided to stop driving to Cape Coral from Kentucky when he was 99 with one stop over night. This year, his nephew Mark Matthews, who is from Jasper, IN, drove Irwin and his wife Kathleen to Cape Coral.
They arrived last Thursday.
Kathleen, 88, said her husband does not like to fly, so they have always traveled by car.
“You can see more,” Irwin said about why he likes to drive instead of fly.
The 1,000 mile trip, Matthews said, went really well.
“It was enjoyable,” he said, adding that they made a stop in Georgia.
Due to Irwin falling and breaking his hip, along with catching pneumonia, they have not traveled to Cape Coral for the past two years.
Kathleen said this is the first time Irwin has not driven by himself.
A conversation between Irwin and Kathleen originally sparked in the St. Andrew parking lot after he noticed that they were from the same area of Kentucky. That conversation ended with the two marrying eight years ago.
“He was 93 years old when I married him,” she said smiling.
Irwin was married to his first wife for 64 years.
Over the years Irwin has grown to love going to the German American Social Club when he is in town. He said he has been going to the club since 1976 or 1977.
Irwin said he decided that he did not like the square tables that were located at the German American Social Club, so he built round tables for out in the garden. He said it was also his idea to have the Beer Garden at the club.
The Weyers will most likely head back home to Kentucky in April and Matthews said he would be more than happy to drive them back.
“Whatever they decide I will be glad to do,” he said.