Rod Guest, founder and owner of Guest Well Drilling in Sarasota, Fla., passed away April 6.

He founded the company in 1956 and started off with one Bucyrus Erie 20 W. 

In 1962, along with three other drillers and officials from the Sarasota County Health Department, Guest created the Sarasota County Drilling Ordinance. The Ordinance is still in place today.

Guest served several terms on the Sarasota Well Drillers Advisory Board. He also served on the Well Drillers Advisory Committee (WDAC) for the South West Florida Water Management District. Guest was a member of the Florida Ground Water Association and served on its board of directors. He was also a member of the National Ground Water Association.

He supported education for the drilling industry and sent his employees to training courses across the U.S. 

Guest Well Drilling made national news in 1974 while drilling for the Water Management District near Weeki Wachee, Fla. It was there that Rod lost his third rotary rig — a brand new Speedstar 135. He also lost a brand new water truck and the machinery was never recovered. Today, the sinkhole is recorded on topographical maps as Guest Sink.

The company specialized in all facets of drilling in addition to full service pump installation, from jet pumps to line shaft turbines.

There will be a memorial service May 7 at 11 a.m. at Bethel Baptist Church in Bradenton, Fla. There will also be a reception dinner immediately after the service in the church gymnasium. For more information, contact Tony Guest at 941-224-9081.