WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - If Josh Vach had been told he could either surf or own restaurants, his widow says that would have been an easy answer—surfing. It was truly a lifetime passion. Vach, though, learned at a very young age surfing everyday doesn’t pay the bills.
“Josh learned to surf at an early age so his father told him he also needed to learn how to work as well,” Cindy Vach says. “He started checking in the produce orders and wrapping the baked potatoes in foil at his family’s restaurants at eight years old.”
On Sunday, surfers from as far away as Washington State and California paddled out into the ocean at Wrightsville Beach in honor of their friend.
Friends, family, fellow restaurant owners and employees gathered at 8:30 a.m. behind Tower 7, one of Vach’s several restaurants. There were Wrightsville Beach fire trucks and ocean rescue trucks in a formation around the lifeguard stand dedicated to Vach. That ceremony began at 9 a.m.
“We all know Josh was a man of few words and liked to keep things short and sweet,” Cindy Vach says.
Surfers paddled out immediately after the dedication. Cindy Vach watched.
Vach said, it is with the communities support that she has been able to battle through these tough times.
“I am still standing because of the love and support of this community and my family, and my friends. This is tough, but all of this makes it easier to get through the tough days. Josh would be very appreciative as I am appreciative.”
Cindy Vach, says they were always meant to be, as she shared the story of how they met, in front Lifeguard stand number 8, now dedicated in Josh’s name.
“When we met, I told him if he wanted a woman who knew how to surf and would jump off the bow of the boat in the middle of the ocean, he had the wrong woman,” she says with a smile. “He chose me anyway. Our differences made us a great team.”
A Paddle-Out memorial is a time-honored tradition celebrating the life of a surfer that has passed away. Vach died recently at the age of 53.