ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - Anthony Szozda left work at D and D Marine in Athens Tuesday, then headed to the river to fish.
Friends affectionately called him "Ski Daddy."
Ski Daddy got his nickname for his love of water, but David Bailey, the owner D and D Marine says Anthony Szozda also had a love for people. According to Bailey, combining his passions at work, there was never a dull moment when Ski Daddy was around.
“When he's here he's happy. He makes everybody laugh, he jokes with everybody,” said Bailey.
The avid fisherman welcomed customers at the repair and supply shop for the past five years.
“He knew how to run it just as good as we did,” said Bailey about his former employee and friend.
Bailey says Ski Daddy was always the first one in the store each morning, and many times, the last to leave.
“He means so much to us, and when I hired him I was told, if I hired him I would never regret it and I never did, he`s that kind of person,” said Bailey.
Now the staff at D and D Marine say they must focus on the good times.
“It was a shock last night, it's going to be a shock in a few days , we're gonna miss him more and more over the next week or two,” said Bailey.
Even though Ski Daddy isn't at work to share his smile, employees here say they will always remember by his mantra: "It's all good."
“It didn't matter how bad it was, it was all good,” remembered Bailey.
A phrase he used often, and one, others hope to live by as well, in order to keep Ski Daddy’s memory alive.
D and D Marine will stay open for business to assist customers.
However the owner says he will give his employees time off as needed to cope with the unexpected death of their colleague and friend.