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Ponte Vedra Beach, FL - Well-known public relations executive, playwright, and former President of Vicars Landing, John W. Felton, 84, passed away on May 7, 2013. Born in Grundy, Virginia on March 21, 1929, "Jack" earned Bachelor and Master's degrees at the University of Michigan. After graduation in 1952, he served as an Information Officer in the USAF Strategic Air Command during the Korean War.

National President of the Public Relations Society of America in 1985 and 1986, his corporate career included leadership assignments in three FORTUNE 500 companies-United States Steel, Interstate Brands, Inc. and McCormick Spice Company where he served as Corporate Vice President of Communications.

After his retirement in 1995, he became the Freedom Forum Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Florida and established the Institute for Public Relations Research there. He retired from teaching and as President and CEO of the Institute in 2004 and he and his wife, the former Ann Reynolds of Roanoke, Virginia, moved to Vicar's Landing at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

His professional writing includes eight plays published by Bakers Plays, Boston, and an award winning film, "The Bread Winners." He was the editor of two books. In 1974, he was awarded the George Washington Medal from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge for his play "Segments in Stained Glass." Another of his plays, "Peace is and Olive Color" was produced on public television to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the state of Michigan.

An Elder in the Presbyterian Church, he wrote and produced the Easter Pageant for the City of Pittsburgh in 1974. Staged in the 7,000 seat Civic Arena, the production featured performers from the Pittsburgh Playhouse, Pittsburgh Symphony and the City Ballet. It marked the first time the city's Catholic Diocese and the Council of Churches had ever combined for a community service.

In 1991, he was name "Outstanding Professional of the Year" by PR NEWS and was the 1992 recipient of the Golden Anvil, PRSA's highest award. Other awards included the 1999 David Ferguson Award for outstanding contributions to PR Education from the Educators' Academy and the Arthur W Page Distinguished Service Award in 2002. He received the Alexander Hamilton Medal from the Institute for Public Relations in 2004 and in 2006 the Institute named its Golden Ruler Scholarship Award for Jack.

He is survived by his three children: Dr. Fred Felton (wife Joanne) of Baltimore, MD, Dr. David Felton, (wife Sarah) of Bridgeport, WV, and MariAnn Felton Seybold (husband James) of Fairfax. VA, and six grandchildren.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, May 11, 2013 in Palms Presbyterian Church.

The family requests contributions to be made in Jack Felton's name to Palms Presbyterian Church, 3410 3rd St. South, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250, and Vicar's Landing Scholarship Fund, 1000 Vicars Landing Way, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082.

Please visit our online Tribute at Services under the direction and care of Quinn-Shalz Family Funeral Home, Jacksonville Beach, FL.

Funeral Home
Quinn-Shalz - A Family Funeral Home
3600 Third Street South
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
(904) 249-1100
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Published in Gainesville Sun from May 10 to May 11, 2013