HOUNCHELL, Charles, a well-loved local resident who made friends around the world, passed away Sunday, February 17, 2013, while visiting New York City. He will be remembered in St. Petersburg and Tampa this week. Charlie, as he was known by most, was an attorney, real estate and business entrepreneur, and a committed community activist. He was 53. Born in St. Petersburg, Hounchell graduated from Lakewood High School before earning degrees from George Washington University, Middlebury College and the University of Florida College of Law. During his school years he traveled internationally with the Up With People musical entertainment group. Later he was a member of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. He spoke three languages and lived in five different countries where he enjoyed a successful international modeling career before returning and settling permanently in Tampa Bay. Hounchell worked as an assistant state attorney in Pinellas County before entering private practice, eventually serving as founding partner in Florida Property Law, LLC, in Tampa. He also founded and operated Zeneks, a medical cost containment company, owned a title company, and with his life partner, Stephen Gay, was half of one of Smith & Associates's top producing real estate teams in recent years. With his closest friends he also owned and operated Casa Nova, a home furnishing store located on Bay to Bay Boulevard in Tampa. Hounchell was most deeply committed to the arts and community assistance programs. He served as a board chairman for the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and The Spring of Tampa Bay. He was on the boards of Equality Florida, Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Earth Charter Communities USA, and the Tampa Bay Business for Culture and the Arts. With the latter he created a scholarship program that rewarded local high school students for their artistic pursuits. Hounchell was a graduate of The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Leadership Tampa program and served on the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition's Florida Advisory Committee. Hounchell was the son of the late Dr. Paul Hounchell and pre-deceased by his sister Anne. In addition to partner Stephen Gay and former wife Barbara Lynch, he is survived by his mother Helen and brother Steve along with nephew Chris Hounchell and niece Heather Tokotch. Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. today in St. Petersburg at the Pasadena Community Church at 227 70th Street South. Tomorrow a celebration of Charlie Hounchell will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Tampa Museum of Art, 120 West Gasparilla Plaza. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the High School Art Stars Scholarship fund. Please send payments to TBBCA, P.O. Box 559, Tampa, FL 33601 with the note in memory of Charlie.
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Published in TBO.com on Feb. 21, 2013