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Community shows support for daughters of 'Jack Sparrow' of Citrus County

Posted at 11:41 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 23:56:10-04

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. -- A tight-knit community is rallying around two girls after their father, who was a beloved paddle board instructor, died unexpectedly earlier this month.

Josh Hensley was a Citrus County celebrity who dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow paddling around Hunters Springs Park in Crystal River.

RELATED: Florida paddleboarder found dead after going missing Saturday

Hundreds of friends, family members and fans attended a memorial help for Hensley on Sunday. Many wrote heartfelt messages on leaves, then burned them on a paddle board created in his honor.

“People are just stopping me, they wanted to tell me their stories of how they met or why Josh meant so much to them, the way he interacted with their kids was just so special to them," said Hensley's sister, Emily Clarke.

Clarke says Hensley, who owned Big Foot Paddle Boards, leaves behind two daughters, ages 12 and 14.

Family members have set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for their education.

“I’m devastated for my loss but immediately, I thought of his daughters because I just want a good future for them and I know that without their father it’s going to be difficult," said Clarke.