Frank Edwardi Sr. oversaw the marina for 30 years as its supervisor.


Sea Isle City’s municipal marina is regarded as one of the gems of the Fish Alley neighborhood, an enclave of family-owned restaurants and fishing boats rooted in the town’s early history as a small commercial seaport.

The 87-slip marina overlooking the lagoon on 42nd Place has been improved in recent years with new landscaping, docks, a boardwalk, an open-air pavilion and public restrooms.

Now, the generically named Sea Isle City Marina is being renamed as the Frank P. Edwardi Sr. Marina in honor of the man who supervised it for 30 years and oversaw its transformation into an attractive hub for boaters.

Edwardi, 77, who was also well-known in Sea Isle as the former chief of the city’s volunteer fire department, died in July after battling leukemia and diabetes.

A community petition drive that collected more than 1,100 signatures urged city officials to rename the marina in Edwardi’s memory. City Council formally approved the renaming at its meeting Tuesday.

His son, Frank Edwardi Jr., serves on Council but did not attend the meeting because he is recovering from COVID-19.

The younger Edwardi said in a phone interview Thursday that he and his family are touched that his father is being remembered in this way.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” he said. “I think it’s a great thing.”

Frank Edwardi Sr. and his wife, Kathleen, center, are surrounded by their children and grandchildren during a ceremony on June 16 shortly before his death.

Edwardi Jr. recalled that his father loved working at the marina while spending many hours there as its supervisor for the city.

“He enjoyed that. It was like a big family to him,” he said.

Residents approached Edwardi Jr. shortly after his father died with the idea of renaming the marina. The petition drive followed, serving as the catalyst for the renaming approved by Council. Edwardi Jr. said he was not involved in the petition drive.

A Council resolution that formalized the name change noted that Edwardi Sr. began working as the marina supervisor in 1989 and was instrumental in the city’s improvement of the property.

“Frank was an integral part of Sea Isle City’s Marina; and in 2009 he provided instrumental guidance in rebuilding the City Marina into the establishment it is today,” the resolution stated.

At the same time he was supervising the marina, Edwardi was also a volunteer with the fire department. He was a member of the fire department for 50 years and served as its chief for nine years.

“Frank was an extremely devoted employee to the City of Sea Isle City, contributing endless hours of dedicated work to the city, not only as an employee but as a volunteer for the City of Sea Isle City Volunteer Fire Department, where he rose to the rank of fire chief,” the resolution said.

Edwardi’s packed memorial service in July included 700 mourners as well as a procession of fire trucks that rolled down Landis Avenue and stopped in front of St. Joseph Catholic Church for the funeral.

A boardwalk and an open-air pavilion are among the amenities at the marina formerly supervised by Frank Edwardi Sr.

While serving as the marina supervisor, Edwardi’s experience as a firefighter helped save the life of a boater during an explosion in 2012. The boater, Frank Haney, was badly burned when he was putting gas in his boat and fire ignited.

“Dad had him roll in the grass,” Edwardi Jr. said of how his father helped to smother the flames that left Haney with severe burns to his upper body.

During all of his years supervising the marina, Edwardi Sr. developed a lot of friendships with the boat owners, his son noted.

“Most of the marina guys were saying that they should do this,” Edwardi Jr. said of the boat owners supporting the marina’s renaming in his father’s honor.