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Chuck Pardee of Ocala, Florida dies at 68; was political/civic leader

When he wasn’t speaking out on a local political issue – which was frequently – or serving on some community task force, Chuck Pardee was busy trying to preserve Ocala’s history or helping raise money for some local cause.

“He was always doing something for somebody,” his wife, Debi, said this week. “Helping people, that’s what he did.”

Charles Willis Pardee Jr., 68, a visible and vocal figure on the Ocala/Marion County civic scene for more than three decades, died on April 19, 2022. The cause of death was cancer.

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A fifth-generation Floridian, Pardee was born on Oct. 1, 1953, at what was then Munroe Hospital. I have attended Marion County Public Schools and Central Florida Community College.

Throughout his life, he had a number of careers, most notably in real estate and property management.

But it was civic affairs and politics that were his passion. Pardee served on dozens of civic committees and chaired many of them, including the Marion County Regulatory Review Advisory Board, chairman; Marion County Road Finance Task Force, chairman; Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee, chairman; and the North Florida High-Speed ​​Rail Task Force, co-chairman.

He was also the founder and first president of the Republican Business Council and served on the Marion County Republican Executive Committee. He was elected Marion County’s Republican State Committeeman in 2016 and served in that capacity until last year.

He also served as Marion County campaign chairman for two presidential candidates: Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas and former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Pardee ran for political office twice, both times seeking a seat on the Marion County Commission – first in 1990 and again in 1992. While he lost both times – the 1990 race for just 73 votes – he was proud of his campaigns.

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