Former New Times Broward-Palm Beach staffer and award-winning journalist Jeff Stratton passed away suddenly this week in Honduras.
Stratton, 47 years old, died from apparent complications from a stomach ulcer.
New Times was a neophyte in the Broward-Palm Beach market when Stratton joined the paper as music editor, and he established its presence in the music community. He transitioned to staff writer
and quickly excelled, winning the prestigious Society of Professional Journalists' Green Eyeshade Award in 2006 for his article "Mr. Big Shot." A year later he won a Sunshine State Award for a cover story titled "Rim Job."
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Chuck Strouse, his editor at the time and now editor of the Miami New Times, said: "Jeff was my music editor, my staff writer, and my friend. I loved him. His smart copy and rapier wit saved me more times than I can count. He was cheerful, smart, and creative. I will miss him horribly."
After leaving New Times, Stratton headed to the Honduran island of Roatán, where he taught English. Last year, he left teaching to start the Roatan New Times. The paper was groundbreaking for the small island city, establishing its first news outlet that wasn't beholden to government interests. He published its fourth issue November 21.
Details on a service for Stratton are still being worked out.
Stratton leaves behind his partner, New Times Managing Editor Deirdra Funcheon, and their son, Cooper.