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Winter Park Library Archive

W. Raymond Rosenfelt

Noted Winter Park banker and community supporter.

W. "Ray" Rosenfelt was born in Republic, Ohio, in 1902. He graduated from Tiffin University in Ohio and with his aunt and uncle from Portland, Oregon, came to Florida in 1922, taking a job with the Union State Bank. He returned to Republic later that year, but moved back to Winter Park permanently when two young men working at the Winter Park bank drowned.

Rosenfelt was a veritable pioneer in Florida banking, once Treasurer of the Florida Bankers Association and president of Florida Bank of Winter Park (later First National Bank). In 1930, when every other bank in the county except one had closed, he struggled to and successfully kept his bank open. He was the chairman of the first, second, and third War Loan Drives during World War II; the Third sold over $377,500 in bonds in Winter Park. Rosenfelt played a large part in the creation of the Winter Park Community Trust Fund, the largest community fund south of Atlanta, in 1951. He also helped organize the Commercial Bank at Winter Park, charter the South Seminole Bank at Fern Park, and was responsible for the merger of First National Bank with the Barnett National Securities Corporation of Jacksonville in 1966. Rosenfelt raised money for Winter Park Memorial Hospital, served on the President's Council of Rollins College, and was director of Winter Park Telephone Co.

Rosenfelt married Margaret Hoitz of Chicago in 1927. They had two sons, W.R., Jr. and Charles Stewart Rosenfelt. Mrs. Rosenfelt was killed in a car accident in 1964. Four years later, Mr. Rosenfelt was remarried to Winter Park socialite and civic leader Sue Bussells. W.R. Rosenfelt died the following year.

This article was written by former archivist, Barbara White, MLIS.