DENNY, CHARLES H., III
Gainesville - Charles H. Denny III passed away peacefully at home on June 15, 2013, after an extended illness, surrounded by his loved ones. He was born in Lakeland, Florida, on March 9, 1932, to Charles H. Jr. and Helen Skipper Denny. He moved to Gainesville in 1939 where he lived the remainder of his life.
He graduated from Gainesville High School in 1949 where he earned 9 athletic letters in football, basketball and baseball, was president of the Key Club and attended Boy's State. He attended the University of Florida
where he earned a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on industrial management. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and was president of La Apache Social Club.
In his senior year at UF he was drafted into the army during the Korean War
and spent two years as an instructor in the Signal Corps Cryptography School at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. After his service in the army, Charles returned to Gainesville and joined his father at Denny Concrete, Inc., a ready mixed concrete business and later in the concrete block business. After his father's death in 1966, Charles became president of the company and initiated a rapid expansion program with the construction of new concrete production plants in Starke, Palatka and St. Augustine. He continued to grow the business until 1972 when he merged with Shands and Baker, Inc. and Capitol Concrete, both of Jacksonville, and Kissan Concrete and Builders Supply of Orlando to form a new corporation, Florida Rock Industries, Inc. He served as president of the Denny Division until 1980 when he retired. He continued to serve on the Board of Directors until 2003, when he turned 70. He served as a director emeritus until the company was sold to Vulcan Materials in 2007.
While in the concrete business, Charles was a member of the Florida Concrete Products Association (serving as president in 1969), the National Ready Mix Association, the National Concrete Block Association, National Concrete Masonry Association, Associated Industries, the Concrete Promotion Council of Florida, Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, and Florida Chamber of Commerce. During this time he was also in the Jaycees and Kiwanis Club.
Following his retirement, he worked with the School of Business Construction at UF to establish a construction industry advisory committee and was named Distinguished Builder of the Year in 1999 by the School and inducted into the School of Building Construction Hall of Fame and Sigma Lambda Chi Honorary fraternity that same year. He served on the UF College of Architecture advisory committee. He also served on the eighth judicial circuit grievance committee.
Charles was a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Gainesville Country Club (serving as the chairman of the greens committee for many years), Gainesville Quarterback Club, University of Florida Alumni Association, the River Club and the University Club-both in Jacksonville.
He was an avid Gator sports fan, Bull Gator, Gator Booster, and Gator Golf Booster. He enjoyed playing golf and hunting and was a member of the Gator Hunt Club. He and Wanda loved to travel or just spending time at their lake place on Cowpen Lake with friends and family.
Charles was a supporter of the arts as an associate of the Harn Museum of Art, the UF Performing Arts Center and the Florida Museum of Natural History. His true passion was the Museum of Natural History, where he supported the Butterfly Garden and recently funded the refurbishing of the main gallery. He was also a member of UF President's Council.
Charles accomplished much during his life but he felt his greatest accomplishment was that all five of his children graduated from college and all of his grandchildren were working on a college degree. The "daddy rabbit" imparted to his family many jewels of wisdom that will be cherished forever.
Charles is survived by his wife (flf-friends and lovers forever) of 37 years, Wanda Nolan Denny, and his five children, Charles IV (Sally) of Jacksonville FL, Robyn of Jacksonville FL, Erin (Perry)Williams of Greer, SC, Grant (Melanie) of Jacksonville, FL, and Stewart of Tampa, FL and 10 grandchildren, Charles V, Joseph, and Mathew Denny, Denny Anderson, Ashlyn and Louis Denny, Wallis Thompson, Charlotte Lemons, Perry and Charles Williams and the mother of his children, Jean Toth. He will be greatly missed by his family and many long-time friends.
Funeral Services will be held Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 11:00 a.m., at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, with The Rev. Louanne Loch as celebrant. The family will receive friends Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at WILLIAMS-THOMAS FUNERAL HOME DOWNTOWN, 404 North Main Street.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that any contributions are made to the UF Museum of Natural History Discovery Room, P.O. Box 112710, Attn: Development, Gainesville, FL 32611 or the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 100 NE First Street Gainesville FL 32601.
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