Robert "Jack " Lefort

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ROBERT "JACK " LEFORT Robert "Jack " LeFort, 82 , of Stuart, Florida and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania passed away October 10, 2008 at Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart. Jack was born in Philadelphia. He graduated from the William Penn Charter School, and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance. Jack also attended the Maritime Academy and was a veteran of the Merchant Marines in World War II. Jack was the CEO of one of the largest commercial design firms in the country, Interspace Inc, which designed facilities such as the U.S. Senate office building, and Chrysler's World HQ. He successfully sold Interspace in 1987 to PHH Group (NYSE). Interspace had 9 regional offices around the country when it sold. Jack's other true loves were family, his university, and competitive sailing. He was the long time President of the Penn Football Club, and the University's Man of the Year. Two years ago in tribute to Jack's life long efforts, Penn named its athletic football offices after him. In the sport of sailing Jack left a long legacy of contribution and support. He was Vice President of US Sailing, the governing body for the sport of sailing, where he helped to launch the beginning of professional sailing years ago. He was the Past Commodore of the Ocean City, New Jersey Yacht Club, and the founder of the Heart Cup, one of New Jersey's premier ocean racing events that supports Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point NJ. His greatest legacy in sailing though will be his founding of the U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County where he served as President for many years, then Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors. Under his guidance the U.S. Sailing Center achieved prominence in the sport of sailing running Olympic regattas as well as teaching kids to be future sailors and Olympians. During his tenure the U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County started from a tent on the causeway beach to one of the largest community based sailing programs in the country located in the Indian Riverside Park in Jensen Beach. Jack in his own right was a world class sailor in his day winning many national and regional championships in both small boats and offshore racing. He was a member of the Penn sailing team and later in life became the coach of Penn's sailing team. He also was the coach of the local Martin County sailing team, helping to start that team from the beginning. His family was Jack's one true love. He was married for 59 years to his wife Julie. He has one son Jack Jr., and his daughter-in-law Lisa, both of Stuart, Florida. He has two grandsons, Bryce and Alec, both of whom have followed in their grandfather's footsteps and currently attend the University of Pennsylvania. His sister, Marie Cullen and brother-in-law George, were both Stuart residents and predeceased him in December, 2007. A remembrance celebration will be held at the U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County, 1955 N.E. Indian River Drive in Jensen Beach, Florida at 4:30 PM on Friday, October 17, 2008. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County in Jack's memory. A scholarship fund for underprivileged children to learn how to sail will be established in his honor. A guest registry will be available to sign at the celebration of life service.
Published in the TC Palm from Oct. 14 to Oct. 17, 2008
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