Jerry Full, Palm Coast Founder and Exuberant Environmentalist, Is Dead at 86
FlaglerLive | April 12, 2013
Jerry Full thought, spoke and lived at speeds defying limits, and lived lives as if he would never run out of them: a newspaperman, a congressional staffer, an Eastern Airlines PR man, an ITT Community Development Corp. executive, a president of the Flagler Chapter of the Florida Audubon Society, a member of the founding Palm Coast City Council–and a founder of the Palm Coast Yacht Club–and of course a husband and a father to a son and daughter.
Full died on March 28 in Ossining, N.Y. He was 86.
Full was part of the very first Palm Coast City Council in 1999, alongside Mayor Jim Canfield and council members Ralph Carter, Jim Holland and Bill Venne. Full would lose his seat to Jon Netts the week before the 9/11 attacks. Netts has been on the council since.
“Unlike some people who hold a grudge when you compete against them in an election, Jerry and I remained good friends,” Netts said, describing their common membership at the Yacht Club and their frequent encounters in social, cultural and other settings over the years. Full, Netts said, had three passions that never waned in his involvements locally: animal rights, culture and the arts, and environmentalism.
“Jerry was not only ardent about the things he supported, promoted, but he was an extraordinary gentleman,” Netts continued. “He lobbied for his issues but he did so in an extraordinarily gentlemanly, civil fashion. Not saying today that people today aren’t civil or gentlemanly,” but sometimes, Netts said, people’s passions can influence their behavior–something that did not happen with Full.
Full was also the last link with a history that straddled Palm Coast’s emergence under ITT and its incorporation as a city. The last member of the original council who’s still alive is Canfield.
Jerry Full’s obituary as provided by his family is below.
Jerome (Jerry) Kendrick Full passed away Thursday, March 28th at Cedar Manor Nursing Home in Ossining, New York. He was born November 2, 1926 in Winnetka, Illinois to parents George Dudley and May Ellen (Davis) Full.
He is survived by his brother, Elliott Full of San Juan Capistrano, California; two children, son Kevan Full (wife Chris) of Chappaqua, New York and daughter Frances Meyers (husband Peter) of Portland, Oregon. He leaves behind three grandchildren, Brennan & Tucker Full and Ellen Meyers, as well as many nephews and nieces.
Jerry loved the outdoors, which led him to do what he could to protect it. He was involved in conservation in Palm Coast, Florida, spearheading efforts to protect green spaces and develop a network of trails. He was a past president of the Flagler County Audubon Society and a legacy member of the Nature Conservancy.
As a lover of the outdoors, he stayed active enjoying it. He sailed wherever he lived – on the Great Salt Lake, the Chesapeake and Biscayne Bay and on Long Island Sound. Later in life he took up windsurfing, kayaking, and canoeing in Palm Coast and elsewhere in Florida. He hiked all over the world, including the Rockies, the Pyrenees, the Serengeti, and Mt. Kenya. He played tennis throughout his adult life and was a runner and skier. He enjoyed walking the trails near his home with whatever dog was his current companion.
Jerry always wanted to know what was going on in the world and was keen on debate. He read several local and national newspapers every day.
Jerry graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, joined the Navy as an electrician’s mate third class towards the end of World War II, serving in the Pacific theater. After the war, he attended college, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and did post-graduate studies in journalism at Northwestern University. While living in Chicago he met Robin Amsbary, an interior decorator working for Marshall Field & Co. They were later wed in Champaign, Illinois where Robin grew up. She passed away in 2007.
Early career moves included newspaper work in Laramie, Wyoming, Grand Junction, Colorado, and Salt Lake City, Utah. From 1963 to 1965 he worked as a congressional aide to Representative Sherman Lloyd of Utah, and then returned to Salt Lake doing freelance writing before changing career paths and starting public relations work with Eastern Air Lines in New York City. He worked for the airline for eight years, during which time he transferred to corporate headquarters in Miami, Florida. While at Eastern, he represented the company’s public face in a variety of ways, including unique experiences such as delivering money to hijackers and handling the aftermath of a crash in the Florida Everglades. His tenure at Eastern allowed him and his family to travel widely overseas, planting the seed for continued travel throughout his life. He managed to see more of this world than most, and by the end of his travels, it was easier to count the places he hadn’t visited.
After Eastern Air Lines, Jerry worked for several years in public relations in New York City, at one point working for a small firm that represented Ghana and Cameroon, allowing him to travel to Africa several times.
Jerry and Robin moved to Florida in 1982, where he worked for ITT Community Development Corporation until his retirement. His duties at ITT CDC included implementation of a transition from private governance of Palm Coast to a public one. An outgrowth of this work led him to run for a city council position in his retirement and serve for one term.
Throughout their time in Palm Coast, Jerry and Robin were civic leaders. They led a group called Movers & Shakers, and often hosted social events for that group at their home. They were founding members of the Palm Coast Yacht Club, members of the tennis club, and supporters of the local Humane Society. Jerry’s interest in conservation and politics was often manifested in articles in the local paper about his concerns as well as letters he wrote to editors of various newspapers and local & federal politicians. His criticisms were often tough, but he suggested solutions he felt were achievable and beneficial to the common good.
A memorial service will be held in Palm Coast, Florida at a time to be determined. Instead of flowers, the family suggests contributions to be made to the Nature Conservancy or the Audubon Society.