John Wilson Puffer obituary photo
 
In Memory of

John Wilson Puffer

June 20, 1942 - November 25, 2016

Obituary


Mr. John W. Puffer III died suddenly on Friday, November 25, 2016.



Mr. Puffer was born on June 20, 1942 in Miami Beach, Florida to the late Annis Spring Puffer and John Wilson Puffer, Jr. He attended Miami Edison High School where he obtained his pilot’s license before his driver’s license. After high school, he attended the University of Michigan and studied engineering. During his sophomore year, he met his wife of 52 years, Blanche Ehresman Puffer. Mr. Puffer graduated with a BSE in 1964. He was married the summer prior to starting...

Mr. John W. Puffer III died suddenly on Friday, November 25, 2016.



Mr. Puffer was born on June 20, 1942 in Miami Beach, Florida to the late Annis Spring Puffer and John Wilson Puffer, Jr. He attended Miami Edison High School where he obtained his pilot’s license before his driver’s license. After high school, he attended the University of Michigan and studied engineering. During his sophomore year, he met his wife of 52 years, Blanche Ehresman Puffer. Mr. Puffer graduated with a BSE in 1964. He was married the summer prior to starting University of Michigan law school and graduated in 1967 with a JD.



After practicing law for three years in Kansas City, Mr. and Mrs. Puffer moved to Tampa, Florida in 1970. Mr. Puffer began practicing with the law firm of Shackleford, Farrior, Stallings and Evans where he remained for many years. He continued his law career as the Regional Partner in Charge with Dykema Gossett and concluded his legal career with the firm of Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick.



He was intellectually gifted, yet a very humble man, and used his talents to help his family and friends while always remaining non-judgmental. In 1984, he had a vision of opening a community bank. Mr. Puffer’s dream became a reality in 1987 when he opened the first branch of The Terrace Bank of Florida, later renamed Pilot Bank, where he served as Chairman of the Board until his death. In 1996, Mr. Puffer retired from law and became both the President and Chairman of Pilot Bank where he successfully began to expand the bank. That same year, Mr. Puffer fused his love of flying into his professional career when Pilot Bancshares acquired NAFCO, National Aircraft Finance Company.



Over his distinguished life, Mr. Puffer served on countless boards both professionally and civically. He served the Florida Bar Association, American Bar Association, Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, Tampa Museum of Art, Leadership Tampa, Tampa Yacht and Country Club, University Club of Tampa, Iron Horse Club of Whitefish, MT and many more. At the time of his death, he was actively involved in Quiet Birdmen (a distinguished pilot organization he joined with his father), Florida Bankers, Independent Community Bankers of America, TCM Bank Board Member, and Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity National Board Member.



Mr. Puffer was a loving son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather predeceased by his sister Judy Puffer Lindsey (Boise, Idaho) and parents John Wilson Puffer, Jr and Annis Spring Puffer (Gainesville, Florida) all of whom he provided for with passion. He is survived by his wife Blanche E. Puffer, daughter Emily Puffer Strickland (Joe), grandsons Joseph and John William of Tampa; sisters Julie Smith (Dan) of Palm Beach Gardens and Jenny Elkins (Dale) of Tampa. Mr. Puffer was passionate about his family. Mr. Puffer especially loved being active with his grandsons Joseph and John William. He enjoyed taking the boys on various trips, flying them around Florida in his planes, and routinely attended each of their school and sporting events. He was passionate about travel both nationally and abroad. He loved spending time at his home in Whitefish, MT relishing in the outdoors, mountains, and waterfronts. Mr. Puffer will be missed beyond measure by his family, friends, and so many individuals whose lives he impacted both in the workplace and his community.



A memorial service will be held on Friday, December 2, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 906 S. Orleans Avenue, Tampa, Fl. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. John’s Episcopal Parish Day School or a charity of your choosing.