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Business Observer Friday, Jun. 24, 2016 4 years ago

IN MEMORIAM | Maurice Wilder 1933 - 2016

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Longtime Tampa Bay developer Maurice Wilder brought an old school approach to investing.

Longtime Tampa Bay developer Maurice Wilder brought an old school approach to investing.

He had a wide spectrum of investments, with properties ranging from farms to mobile home parks to development pieces. Regardless of the type of property, his primary focus was on the location and quality of each asset.

“What you learn from a guy like him is he looks at the very basics,” says John Gerlach, managing director of office services for Colliers International in Clearwater. “He didn't need long-term investment analysis to make his decision. He looked at where it is now and what it's doing today versus where it will be five, seven, 10 years from now.”

Wilder died June 12. He was 83.

Gerlach worked with Wilder on investment pieces for more than 15 years. He says Wilder was tenacious. “He would make his decision,” Gerlach says, “and I don't know of a situation where he did not close a deal once he made that decision.”

Wilder, founder and former president of Clearwater-based Wilder Corp., was a “self-made multimillionaire,” according to his obituary, posted by the Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home and Sylvan Abbey Cemetery. He was also a Republican political candidate supporter who attended the inaugural balls of presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush.

Another Wilder passion, beyond real estate and politics, was farming. He was born and raised a farmer, according to his obituary, and had large soybean and corn farms. He liked to see the “corn come up, see it grow and harvested,” states the obituary.

Survivors include Wilder's long-time partner Mary Carotenuto, former wife Kathy Wilder, three daughters, one son, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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