Naturally, I cannot be unbiased when relating the difficult and often hurtful account of Dad's breakup with his brother Robert. 

A simple way to put it is that there came a point - after the Marco permit denial - when the brothers saw things from different perspectives. They were at different points in their lives. Robert was ready to retire and Dad was not. Dad had a son who was dedicated to the business. Robert did not. Dad and I were willing to fight and risk what we had on the future of Deltona and Robert and Robert Jr. were not. In any event the differences resulted  - after months of dispute - in an agreement to divide the their jointly owned assets. The final agreement was signed on February 1st, 1977.

Once the separation agreement was signed Robert resigned from Deltona. 

After nearly forty years, the Mackle Brothers partnership was over.






The Mackle Company would go on under Dad's sole ownership.

Dad was nearing his sixtieth birthday when breakup with Robert began. He had had at least one heart problem. The permit denial and the breakup were devastating. A lesser man would have been broken.

Dad was not a lesser man.

He dealt decisively with the public announcement and legal responses to the Corps decision. The pursuit of a measure of justice through legal actions was his main focus for the next few years. 

Late in 1976 he made another important contribution to Deltona's rebound.

By this time Dad had several significant positions with two other companies and one beloved university.

In the past ten years he had been named a Trustee of the University of Notre Dame,  to the Board of  W.R. Grace & Co and the Board of  Mutual of Omaha.

The W.R. Grace and Mutual directorships came about as a result of contacts he had made on the Notre Dame Board of Trustees.

All three boards were made up of some of the most influential men and women in the nation. Dad was very well liked and respected and as a result he was able to bring several important opportunities to Deltona's table. 

One that made a real impact was a joint venture - signed in late 1976 - with Clint Murchison to complete the development of Tierra Verde.

Another which held our attention for about a year but never came to fruition was a potential joint venture to acquire and develop land in Arizona.

He had a way - even in times of adversity - to keep his - and our - creative juice flowing.

June 15, 1976
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Luxury Hotel Rendering

I especially remember is Dadís announcement in June just two months after the denial of two new hotels on Marco - in spite of the fact that we were near bankruptcy! 

At the time I thought he was crazy but, in hind site, it was a bold move which reflected his life-long optimism and did bring a ray of hope to employees and stockholders.

The two hotels would include one geared to families on a budget and the other - which we actually did preliminary plans on - would be a luxurious five-star hotel catering to the super rich - a hotel a substantial cut above the incredible Marco Beach Hotel!

Of course we were soon forced to sell the Marco Beach Hotel. New ones were just not in the cards.

After the closing on the sale of the Key Biscayne Hotel in February 1978 Dad began to turn his attention to investing the proceeds. The Mackle Company was staffed up. In 1980 Bill Quarles was recruited from Price Waterhouse to lead the effort. Richard Ladd, also from Price Waterhouse, soon joined up. Before long several new operations were  acquired. Other cash was invested in stocks and mutual funds. 

About the same time Dad built a second home on the golf course at Marco and bought a summer home in Spring Lake New Jersey. At Marco - around 1980 - he and mom built a new home on the golf course and a year or two later closed on a Summit House Condominium. Marco - in spite of all the difficulties it had caused - was still his favorite get-away. 

He began to spend more time on his horses as well.

In 1979 Bill O'Dowd resigned and although he would stay on as a Director for several years - and would remain a life-long friend - he would no longer be the daily business ally that he had been since the early 1950s. Only Dad and Neil Bahr remained from the group that started Deltona seventeen years before.

In the second quarter of 1979 the Marco Beach Hotel was sold to Marriott.

In 1979 I was named President of Deltona.

Dad's focus was less and less on Deltona and more and more on The Mackle Company.

But from that new focus came the Dad's last major business achievement - Avanti Products.