TAMPA — The memorial service for Fred Karl — former legislator, Florida Supreme Court justice, Hillsborough County administrator and Tampa General Hospital president — will not be held in the building bearing his name, as originally planned.
The 2 p.m. Friday service has been moved from the Fred B. Karl County Center to the Tampa Convention Center, Karl's family said Saturday, to accommodate the large crowd expected. The room in the county center holds about 115 people, according to Karl's daughter Tami, which would have limited the service to family and dignitaries.
"That was not my husband," said Karl's wife, Mercedes. "He wanted everyone to have access. Even the man who mopped the floor at Tampa General."
The room at the convention center will be able to hold about 300 people, Tami Karl said, and the service will be live-streamed in the county center for people who want to watch. The family is reaching out to the people Fred Karl had wanted to speak at his service, a list that includes former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and community activist Chloe Coney.
In lieu of flowers, the Karl family asks well-wishers to send donations to the Frederick B. Karl veterans scholarship, Office of the Department of Alumni Relations, Stetson University College of Law, 1401 61st St. S, Gulfport, FL 33707.