Lehigh Acres Pioneer, Harry C. Powell, Jr. 12/17/1929 – 9/4/2021

Harry C. Powell, Jr. was born in Jacksonville on December 17, 1929 to Harry C. Powell (major architect in Jacksonville) and Mary Alice Martin.  He had two step-brothers Bob Martin and Ryan Martin, both deceased, and Wyatt Martin of Arden, NC. Powell had many Aunts and Uncles and has many nieces and nephews.  Mr. Powell married Diane Donegan of Jacksonville Beach on June 13, 1964. They lived in Lehigh Acres and more recently in Bonita Springs. He passed away on September 4, 2021 in the arms of our Lord after a long illness. He would have been 92 in December.

Powell attended Baylor Academy and Vanderbilt University in Nashville.  He graduated from Jacksonville University in Jacksonville with a B.A. degree.  Powell was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force after serving 4 years as as cryptography instructor during the Korean War. He continued educational courses in real estate law, condominium law, telemarketing law, timeshare law and business management.

Powell came to Lehigh Acres in 1960 as National Sales Manager for Lehigh Corporation. He was hired by Gerald H. Gould and worked with Ed Shapiro, Manny Riskin,  Lee Ratner, Irv Herman, Art Kessler, Norm Downer, and many other whom Powell hired who called Powell their Mentor.

Powell eventually became Vice President and then President from 1969 to 1981.  He increased land sales from $3 million to $30 million annually. He helped to create the Charmed Circle of Model Homes and started the Lehigh Building Corporation.  In 1962 there were only 1,200 people living in Lehigh Acres and now there are 140,000 people living here.  Lehigh Corporation had offices overseas, at Military Bases and most all northern states.  He brought in 20 bus loads a day of people interested  in purchasing in Lehigh Acres and eventually homes. Buses came in from Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, and by plane. Up north, sales representatives did home-sits in people’s homes.  He and KeithTrowbridge started the first timeshare in Sanibel and eventually Powell started one in Lehigh Acres. Lehigh Corporation had over 1,200 employees at that time.

Lehigh Corporation also helped residents celebrate their over 65th birthdays and 50 years or more of wedding Anniversaries.  He started 125 clubs and organizations for residents to find something to do to give back to their community.  Pastors and their wives were invited to have free lunch at the Lehigh Resort Motel and property was given to churches to build their church.  The Matador Room and Lehigh Auditorium hosted big name bands and many events.  He started the week long Lehigh Spring Festival with entertainment, carnival rides, food booths, games and more.  

In 1981 Powell formed his own company, Landex Corporation as CEO and Broker, and went on to manage timeshare resorts in Orlando and Delray Beach, taking over several troubled resorts , managing sales, rentals, marketing and management. Landex also managed homeowner, condominium and property owner Associations in Lee County.  He also had a telemarketing company in Tennessee and Florida marketing vacation certificates for people to come to Florida to purchase property.

He was recognized by Business View Magazine for being in the top 100 private companies in Florida and also by INC Magazine as being number 216 out of the top 500 fastest growing companies in the United States.  He was a member of the Florida Real Estate Commission as a broker, Florida Association of Realtors, Fort Myers Board of Realtors, American Resort Development Association, American Hotel & Motel Association, Several Chambers of Commerce, the BBB and received numerous awards and recognition from Clubs, Organizations and Universities.

His favorite charity is Lehigh Community Services in Lehigh Acres that he started many years ago along with 125 other clubs and organizations so residents would have lots to do. There wasn’t a church or organization that he didn’t contribute to along the way and helped people in need.

His slogan was “Lehigh Acres – Where a Handshake Means a Lasting Friendship.”  

In 1981 he formed Landex Corporation and continued with sales and management of timeshare, homeowners’, condominium, and property owner Associations, which they still do to this day.  He was considered a mover and a shaker in Lee County backing political candidates locally and in the State of Florida.  Many of his current employees have been with him for over 20 to 50 years and will continue his “people pleasing” company in his honor. 

He will be sadly missed by the love of his life, Diane of 57 married years, friends of 59 years Rick and Ruth Anglickis, God-Daughter Robyn A. Rocco and Family, and 100’s of friends in and around Lee County, Florida and Jacksonville.  Cards or memories can be sent to: Diane Powell, c/o Landex, 1100 Homestead RD N., Lehigh Acres,  FL 33936  A Celebration of Life will be held later with family and close friends.

Donations in his memory can be sent to Lehigh Community Services.  

This song is dedicated to the Memory of Harry C. Powell, Jr., one of the “Good Guys.”

The Way We Were

Memories, like the corners of my mind,

Misty watercolor memories of the way we were.

Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind,

Smiles we gave to one another

Of the way we were.

Can it be that it was all so simple then?

Or, has time rewritten every line?

If we had the chance to do it all again,

Tell me – “would we?” – “could we?”

Memories may be beautiful and yet,

What’s too painful to remember,

we simply choose to forget.

So, it’s the laughter we will remember,

Whenever we remember,

THE WAY WE WERE.

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