FROID, Gary Robert 76, of St. Petersburg, passed away on Nov. 5, 2013. Gary was born in in Burlington, Iowa and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1959 from Cambridge, Massachusetts after graduating from Harvard University. The road from the Midwest to the East Coast was paved with Gary's high school accomplishments such as lettering in football, baseball, basketball and track; being Captain of the Debate Team and voted "Most Likely To Succeed" by his classmates. Gary was the principal recipient from the State of Iowa of the Naval ROTC Midshipman scholarship at Harvard. In college, he juggled academics, sports, extra-curricular activities and multiple jobs. Achievements included playing football for the Crimson and being a member of the Crimson Key Society, Hasty Pudding Club and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. In 1959, Gary was recruited to join Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and went on to become one of NML's top District Agents and a significant leader in the industry. Through the years, Gary was actively involved in professional organizations as a Founder and Life Member, Top of the Table; Lifetime Member, Million Dollar Round Table; Certified Financial Planner (CFP); Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and on the Board of Trustees of The American College. He served as President of the local and national Chartered Life Underwriters (CLU), St. Petersburg Life Underwriters and National Association of Estate Planners and Estate Planning Councils. Gary never forgot his Midwestern roots but called St. Petersburg, Florida his home and felt strongly about giving back to the community. He served as President of The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce; The Community Services Council; Pinellas United Way and Harvard Club of the West Coast of Florida. Gary held various board positions including PARC; The Florida Gulf Coast Orchestra; Tampa Bay Research Institute; St. Petersburg Task Force of The Florida Sports Hall of Fame (past Chairman) and the Eckerd College President's Round Table. Additionally he was a member of the Bat Boys, St. Petersburg Yacht Club, Pinellas Park Kiwanis Club, The Squires Club and the St. Petersburg Quarterback Club. As an ardent football fan, Gary introduced a little known phenomenon called "Fantasy Football" to a cherished group of friends in the mid-1980s. The Suncoast Football League is still thriving today. Gary was notably proud of the opportunity to combine his love of baseball and his love for the city of St. Petersburg by serving on The Pinellas Sports Authority, which accomplished its mission of building Tropicana Field (formerly the Florida Suncoast Dome) and subsequently being awarded the Tampa Bay Rays MLB franchise. Gary was as passionate about his leisure pursuits as he was about his career and volunteer endeavors. Those who knew him also knew his avid love for reading and publishing ventures, his talent for writing (both published and unpublished works), photographic memory, his enthusiasm for model trains (having grown up in a railroad town), his insatiable appetite for collecting, his passion for traveling, his thirst for learning and his unique and influential personality that provided all with at least one "Gary story". Collective memories of decades of traveling throughout 6 continents with his wife, Sue brought an enormous amount of adventure and happiness to their life together. Gary is survived by his beloved wife and partner of 29 years, Sue and his children: Mark Froid (Celeste), Karen Froid Swain (Bert), Lynn Froid Ferry, Michael Froid, Candi Obrentz, Dana Obrentz and grandchildren: Phoebe Pelot, Harrison Froid, Eric Ferry and Michael Froid. A celebration of Gary's life will be announced at a later date. If you wish to honor Gary's memory with a contribution, please consider the Tampa Bay Research Institute (tbri.org), Eckerd College (eckerd.edu), and the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg (stpeteymca.org/donate.html). An online guestbook is available at davidcgross.com David C. Gross Funeral Homes 6366 Central Ave. / 727-381-4911
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David C. Gross Funeral Home
6366 Central Avenue St. Petersburg, FL 33707
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Nov. 8, 2013