EDWARD THOMAS LACEY
08/09/1929 - 02/08/1921
Edward T Lacey, a 40-year resident of DeLand died at Advent Health DeLand on February 8, 2021, after a brief illness.
He was born on August 9, 1929, in Flint, Michigan to Margaret and Lawrence Lacey and attended St. Matthew Catholic School for his entire primary and secondary education graduating with the class of 1947.
He worked after high school in his family’s grocery business, Abbott Markets, in Flint where he met the woman who would become his wife of 67 years, Pauline Sheehan. Prior to their marriage on Valentine’s Day in 1953, he spent three years in the US Army stationed at Fort Sheridan in Chicago and in Korea.
When Ed was discharged from the Army, he and Pauline began their married life in Flint.
Ed started his automotive career selling Fords for a former high school coach in a city made famous by its connection to General Motors. He moved up to Sales Manager and General Sales Manager at Otto P Graff Ford before moving on to similar positions at Ford Dealerships in the suburban Detroit market. He was offered an opportunity to purchase his own Ford dealership across the state, Twin Ford, in Plainwell, Michigan in 1967 and never looked back. He owned that store until he tired of the Michigan winters and found an opportunity in Deland to purchase the Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealership in 1981. When the business outgrew its existing location on the Northside of Deland, Ed found a parcel of 40 acres in Orange City where he was able to build a new, state of the art facility in 1989 where the business still stands. He additionally owned the Toyota dealership for a time and the Honda dealership in Deland.
Ed was a profound advocate of giving back to the community in which you work and live beginning in Michigan and continuing throughout his time in DeLand. He was active in Rotary in both states and President of both the Michigan and DeLand Clubs during his lifetime. He also was active in United Way in both states and was a benefactor of St Margaret’s Catholic Church and School in Michigan and St Peter Catholic Church and School in DeLand.
He was also active in his automotive trade serving as a Member and Chairman of the Ford Dealer Advertising Fund boards in both Michigan and Florida, Chairman of the National Ford Dealer Council, a National Automobile Dealers Association Representative as well as President and Board Member of the Central Florida Auto Dealers Association.
In 2001, Ed was offered an option to sell the DeLand Ford, Lincoln-Mercury, and Honda Dealerships to Asbury Automotive/Coggin Group and he accepted it. Upon his retirement from the automotive business, his philanthropy and community involvement ramped up significantly and he created the Lacey Family Charitable Foundation which will continue after his death. He was active in several organizations including the DeLand Museum of Art, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Volusia Flagler, The Athens Theater, The Neighborhood Center, FUTURES, The United Way and its Community Foundation, the Knights of Columbus, The St Peter Catholic Life Center and was a founding member of the First Community Bank of Orange City.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Frances Ackley and his son Thomas.
He is survived by his wife Pauline, sisters Margaret (John) Mahoney, Royal Oak, MI and Marie Knight, Fenton, MI; children Mary-Jo of DeLand, Patrick (Tammy) of Sturgis, MI, Michael of Augusta, GA, Teresa (Jerry) Givens of Branson, MO, Elizabeth (Mike) Boylan of DeLand, Paula (John) Tabar of Palm Harbor, FL, Matthew (Katy) of Dunwoody, GA and Peggi (Mike) Kaley of Austin, TX; 22 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
The family will greet friends on Friday, February 19 at Lankford Funeral Home from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, February 20th, 2021, at St. Peter Catholic Church in DeLand beginning with a eulogy by the family at 10:00 a.m. A private burial will follow for the family.
The family requests in lieu of flowers donations are made in Ed’s memory to the Boys & Girls Club, 101 North Woodland Blvd., Ste 400, DeLand, FL 32720 or the Neighborhood Center 434 S. Woodland, Blvd., DeLand, FL 32720.
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