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LAKELAND - Lawrence Paul Libertore, Jr, a former State Representative, County Commissioner, Real Estate Developer/Broker and University of Florida Quarterback died unexpectedly on Dec 25, 2017. He succumbed to complications from a rapid onset pulmonary condition at age 78.
Larry was born in Canton, Ohio to Lawrence Paul Libertore, Sr. and Jean Maggorie Libertore. He moved to Miami with his family and attended Miami Edison High School - where he was recognized with All City, All State and All American awards. Recruited by the University of Florida, he was a star quarterback, safety and punt returner graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1962. He was named MVP at the Gator Bowl, was on the SEC All Scholastic Team and was inducted into the University of Florida Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005. One of Libertore's signature moments at Florida was the 1960 Gator Bowl. Playing quarterback as a sophomore, 'Lightning' Larry led the Gators to a 13-12 win over Baylor, earning MVP honors. Libertore also helped Florida earn the first nine-win season in program history in 1960 under first-year coach Ray Graves.
Libertore stayed in Lakeland and organized The Florida Brahmans, the city's first professional football team, and he partnered in a real estate venture, Loftin-Libertore. In 1970 he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, serving four years. In 1974, he founded his own real estate firm, Larry Libertore Inc. His commercial and residential developments included the residential portion of The Club at Eaglebrooke. He was also president of ADLIB Inc., a builder of commercial and residential buildings. He served on the Polk County Commission from 1984 until 1992 and became chairman. He was past president of Lakeland South Rotary, was on the board of directors of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, was involved in the Lakeland YMCA membership campaign, and was a campaign director for Polk County Chapter of March of Dimes. Before retirement, he and a partner developed two professional office parks in Lakeland.
Larry was a devoted husband, father, son, brother and uncle. He was a sports aficionado and avid skier throughout his life. Larry enjoyed spending his time between his two homes in Lakeland and Longboat Key and acting as an advisor for The Libertore Fund for Children. Larry was active in his community and believed in using his experience and leadership skills to make a difference in the lives of others. His advice and guidance will be deeply missed by his family, friends and all who knew him.
Larry is survived by his wife, Mary Snell Libertore, his children, Lisa Marie Libertore, Christy Lyn Libertore and Lawrence Paul Libertore, III, stepson Nate Snell (Jennifer) and three grandchildren, his sister Lana Libertore Swartzwelder (Terry) and brother Doug Libertore.
A service is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 30 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 210 W Lemon St., Lakeland, FL 33815 with a viewing at noon.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to The Libertore Fund for Children at PO Box 5415, Lakeland, FL 33807 or online at www.libfund.org/libertore.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.heathfuneralchapel.com
Published in Ledger from Dec. 28 to Dec. 29, 2017
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