Winter Park Construction Founder Memorial Service
Updated: Nov 13, 2020
Longtime resident of Winter Park and the founder of one of Central Florida’s largest commercial construction firms, Winter Park Construction (WPC), Tracy Forrest (70 years of age), passed away on Monday, October 12, 2020, from an aggressive form of brain cancer. Tracy was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma in August of this year and had been quietly managing it over the past several weeks. Tracy’s death was not related to COVID, however, because of the pandemic the funeral service will be private. He will be buried at Palm Cemetery in Winter Park. A celebration of life service will be scheduled at a later date.
Tracy founded WPC in 1974, with a focus on renovations, timeshare resorts, hotels, senior living facilities and apartment complexes in the Central Florida area. Outside Central Florida, WPC performs as Owner’s Reps and Construction Managers with projects throughout the Southeast United States & Las Vegas. Tracy grew the company to become one of the ENR 400 largest General Contractors in the US and one of the 200 largest privately-owned companies in Florida.
Tracy has guided WPC along a successful path of strategic, controlled growth. Throughout his over 50 years in the construction industry, Tracy fostered an environment of continuous improvement amongst WPC employees. In 2007, he sold a majority of the company to his brother Jeff Forrest and three other partners. Although he has not been involved in the day to day activities for many years, he retained a minority share in the company and provided guidance and counseling to his brother, his partners and employees, some of which have worked for him for more than 40 years.
Tracy is also remembered as an accomplished pilot and a mentor to the next generation of aviators. He supported a variety of philanthropic aviation programs including Veterans Airlift Command, Corporate Angel Network, and the EAA Young Eagles program. Blending his passion for both construction and aviation, he developed the South East Ramp hangar complex at his home base, the Orlando Sanford International Airport. Tracy built an iFly indoor parachute flight facility in Jacksonville, Florida.
A former director of the Old Florida National Bank, he was also on the President’s Council of EAA & AOPA, The Leadership Council of NBAA, The President's Advisory Board of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, The Holt School Board of Advisors at Rollins College; was a Founder and past Chairman of the Citation Jet Owner Pilots Association and was a member of YPO/ WPO and the Florida Citrus Sports Association. He attended the Harvard Business School.
He is survived by his wife Rae who was not only his life partner, she was his copilot and his world-wide travel companion. As one of the trustees of his foundation, she will continue to honor his legacy by guiding the decision-making process on his many ventures and by reminding the WPC family of how he would have liked them to guide his company.
Jeff, who has worked with Tracy for over 41 years, says about his brother, “For me, he was much more than just my big brother. He was my role model, my mentor, my boss and in the end, my partner. He has entrusted us (the WPC Family) with his legacy of hard work and success, and he leaves the next generation of leaders, with the tools to continue his important work.”
In addition to Rae and Jeff, Tracy leaves behind his two sisters (Jan and Jenny) and his nephew (Jeffrey), who also works at WPC, and his one-month-old grandnephew (Jeffrey) he affectionately named “Trip”. Flowers are not necessary. Cards are being received at WPC 221 Circle Drive, Maitland, Florida 32751.