Arthur Gilbert McCree

Arthur Gilbert McCree passed away on June 10, 2024, at the age of 95. He was born in Orlando, the seventh of eight children of Novie Lena and W. A. McCree, Sr.

He is predeceased by his parents and siblings Mary Stiles, W. A. McCree, Jr., Zelma Durrenberger, Margaret Berry, Norma Lee Lloyd, Melva Yatsuk, and Dr. D. Gene McCree.

Bert graduated from Orlando High School in 1947. He was a talented athlete, playing varsity football and becoming the number two pole-vaulter in the state of Florida in his junior and senior years. With encouragement from his brother, friend and mentor, W. A., Bert graduated from the University of Florida in 1953 with a Bachelor of Architecture Degree. Because he was an ROTC member, he received a commission in the United States Air Force and was stationed in Greenville, SC, and Ardmore, OK, where he was an Air Installation Officer.

Upon discharge, Bert returned to Orlando and entered into his apprenticeship with renowned architect James Gamble Rogers of Winter Park. After becoming a registered architect, Bert joined his brother, W. A. McCree, Jr. at McCree Architects and Constructors where he was architect of record for the next 35 years. Bert was the first architect in the Orlando area to hold certification as a General Contractor as well. Many of the projects that Bert and his brother worked on still stand in the Orlando area and include churches, banks and commercial and industrial entities.

Bert married Marie Gayzik McCree in 1954. Their children are Mark, Eva (Curt) Chapman and Adele (Joe) Robertson. A son, Dean, died shortly after birth. Granddaughters include Jeannette Kunzen, Christina Dubose, Erin Robertson and Lisa Penkal. Great granddaughters are Maggie and Scarlet.

Bert was a dedicated member of the Rotary Club of Orlando for over fifty years. As a member of the Toastmasters Club, in 1967-69 he established a club for students in the seventh and eighth grades of Good Shepherd School in Azalea Park. Other memberships included the Old Timers Club of Orange County, the Young At Heart singing group, the Whirl and Twirl Square Dance Club, the Outreach Love program, and the Orange County Code Board.

Bert enjoyed playing a weekly golf game in a foursome of good friends. After moving to Westminster Towers Orlando, Bert served as chairman of the putting team for ten years, coaching and preparing the team for the semi-annual competition with Winter Park Towers. Bert was a talented pianist and entertained the residents of Westminster Towers for many years, continuing until just a few weeks before his passing.

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