SARASOTA, Fla. -- A Sarasota philanthropist and his wife were killed in a car crash involving a Longboat Key police officer earlier this week.
Charles and Margery Barancik gave generously to the community where they lived.
"They exuded kindness and goodness and they were leaders in the Sarasota community," said Jennifer Rominiecki, President and CEO of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
The crash happened on December 18 around 6 p.m. on Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key. The couple was leaving a private residence when a marked patrol vehicle was traveling south on Gulf of Mexico Drive and collided with the couple's Tesla.
Chuck Barancik, 91, died on scene. His 83-year-old wife died nearly 24 hours later at a local hospital.
"They were just the perfect couple in every way and just so kind. They stood out for their kindness and generosity," said Rominiecki.
The Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation helped many organizations throughout the Sarasota community.
"The world is a better place because of Charles and Margery Barancik. They've impacted every corner of our community," said Bill Sadlo, President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County.
The couple helped open the door of a new Boys and Girls Club in the Newtown neighborhood of Sarasota. It provided deserving children access to life-changing programs.
The foundation also helped the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Most recently, the couple helped start an initiative called "Project Nature Bridge." The program helps train educators on teaching children about nature and the environment around them.
"They were very generous donors to Selby Gardens and wonderful champions for what we're trying to accomplish here," said Rominiecki.
Chuck made his living in the manufacturing industry near Chicago. The couple retired to Longboat Key in the early 1990s. They were married for 60 years.
"They really rolled their sleeves up and made transformational change in the community and they will be deeply missed." added Rominiecki.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, December 22 at 2 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El at 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota, Florida.
A celebration of life will be held by the Barancik Foundation in early 2020. You can click here for more information.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to JFCS of the Suncoast or the charity of your choice.