Gerald H. Gould, 89, died Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Miami, surrounded by his loving family. He was born June 28, 1924, in New York.
He was one of the early founders of Lehigh Acres and lived here for a number of years.
He was the first president of the Lehigh Corporation and worked with Lee Ratner, the chairman of the board of the firm. Ratner had purchased the land that is now called Lehigh. He called it the Lucky Lee Ranch.
In 1956, the company began selling platted lots and the company brought people to Lehigh, put them up in the old Admiral Hotel and showed them the area where they could build a home for retirement or to come and live in Lehigh.
After World War II, he moved to Florida where the weather suited his sunny disposition.
A successful businessman, his proudest accomplishments were not one but two wonderful families.
His professional life began in advertising, but he made his name in real estate development.
It was in 1955, when he co-founded Lehigh Acres, where he served as president for 17 years. Today, Lehigh is a thriving community of about 100,000 residents.
He went on to build the first timeshare resort in Florida and later partnered with Jim Walter, investing in numerous projects, including Sun City Center, Fla.
He was honored throughout his lifetime, including membership in the Florida Council of 100. Last year, he was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by French President Hollande for his service in WWII.
He most loved playing golf throughout a life that fulfilled him and all who were lucky to know him.
He is survived by his children, Randy, Cary (Jill), David, Dean (Alissa) and Elizabeth Alhanti (Brian); his loving wife, Judy, and her children, Bobby (Nancy) Gilbert, Carolyn Epstein and Mark (Belinda) Gilbert; and his grandchildren, Lee, Adam, Ari, Shaina, Geoffrey, Evan, Lee, Anabel, Madeline, Stuart, Brett and Grace, all of whom gave him immense joy in his final years.
He was predeceased by his parents; first wife, Lois; brothers, Mortimer and Larry; and son, Randy.
Services were held Thursday, March 13, 2014, at Temple Beth Am in Miami.
The family has suggested that contributions to his memory be made to The Temple Beth Am, Greater Miami Jewish Federation or a favorite charity.
Arrangements handled by the Riverside Gordon Memorial Chapels.