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  • "I was privileged to know Walter at Harbor Chase where my..."
  • "My condolences to the Etling family. Mr. Walter Etling..."
  • "My condolence to the ETLING family , so for your loss..."
  • "Dear Tina and family, I am saddened to read of the passing..."
    - Joan Reitsma
  • "I am in awe at how one person can leave such a footprint on..."
    - Jen Cassisi
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Walter B. Etling, Jr. 88, passed away on Friday, April 25, 2014 at Harbor Chase of Gainesville. Walter was born in Newark, NJ to Walter Sr. and Elsie Etling in 1926 and raised in Nutley, NJ.

A long-time Miami real estate broker, civic activist and true "renaissance man," he left a legacy behind that will long be remembered. As President of the Walter Etling Company he secured the old Miami News Tower as the central Cuban refugee center, named it the "Freedom Tower" and managed it for many years. At one point his real estate and property management companies leased and managed over 30 major buildings in Miami and beyond. He was a former Trustee of the University of Miami and President of its Alumni Association (Alumnus of the Year '71), Athletic Federation and Sports Hall of Fame and was instrumental in developing the popular "U" logo for the school. He also attended Georgia Tech, while training in the U.S. Navy V-12 Navel Aviation program during WW II. As an entrepreneur, his projects included introducing fast food to Spain in the late 1960s, with one of his 6 KFC franchise units ranking as the most successful in the world. He worked to better his community on many committees through the years and served two terms as foreman of the Dade County Grand Jury. He was a longtime Director of the Key Biscayne Bank and Trust Company, member of the Orange Bowl Committee and University of Miami Kappa Sigma Epsilon Beta chapter. A painter, musician and former drum major of the UM Band of the Hour, he was active in the leadership of many cultural organizations including the Miami Museum of Science, Chopin Society and Napoleonic Society of America Foundation.

Walter was predeceased by a sister Carol Thompson. He is survived by his daughter Tina Banner (Michael), son Russell, former wife Ann, granddaughter Jennifer Cassisi (Chris), 2 great-grandchildren Reese and Rex Cassisi, brother-in-law Art Thompson, and nephews and niece Scott Thompson (Daryl), Mark Thompson, Curt Thompson (Heather) and Heidi Nosich (Jim).

There will be no services but the family ask that contributions be made in his memory to Haven Hospice, 4200 NW 90th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32606.

Arrangements entrusted to MILAM FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICE 311 S. Main St. Gainesville, FL 32601, (352) 376-5361.

Funeral Home
Milam Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc. of Gainesville
311 South Main Street
Gainesville, FL 32601-1803
(800) 433-5361
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Published in Gainesville Sun from Apr. 29 to Apr. 30, 2014
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