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SOURCE The Pulte Family
Anonymous Philanthropist, Loving Family Man, and Home Building Giant William J. Pulte Dies at Age 85 - A Life Worth Living
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., March 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- William J. Pulte (Bill), active philanthropist, family man, and founder of home building giant PulteGroup Inc. (PHM) passed away on March 7, 2018 after 85 years of helping those most in need and building several highly successful businesses.
Bill Pulte is remembered as a loving husband, father of 14, grandfather of 27, and great-grandfather of 3.
Bill Pulte constructed his first home at age 18 in 1950 and then founded, built, and managed Pulte Homes to become the largest homebuilder in the United States, ultimately building over 600,000 homes.
An Ann Arbor and Detroit native, Bill Pulte was the silent benefactor behind the Angel Fund, an organization that anonymously provided needy families in Detroit with shelter, heat, and light. Bill also served as a quiet philanthropist for Detroit's Cornerstone Schools where he provided for the education of thousands of young Detroiters. One of Bill and his wife Karen's favorite missions was the building of homes and shelters for those in poverty. Together, they donated thousands of housing units and shelters in some of Central America's poorest communities.
Most of the people that Bill helped throughout his lifetime never knew that he was their benefactor. To Bill Pulte, giving quietly was the true definition of giving.
In addition to his love for his wife, Karen, and his family, he loved the game of golf, being with friends, and visiting Northern Michigan in the summer. Bill's many children and grandchildren could always count on Bill for a game of euchre followed by a hot fudge sundae. The memories and lessons passed down from Bill will always be remembered by his family.
Outside of spending time with his family and friends, Bill's passion was being a homebuilder. He took the first step on his construction career journey even before he graduated from De LaSalle High School in Detroit, working between his sophomore and junior years with a local carpenter. One week after his high school graduation, with the help of five high school friends, he started construction on his first home, a five-room bungalow near Detroit City Airport. Bill sold that first house in 1950 for $10,000. In 1959, Bill built his first subdivision. In the 1960's, Bill expanded Pulte Homes from Michigan into Washington DC, Chicago and Atlanta. In 1972, the stock of the parent company, PHM Corporation, began trading on the American Stock Exchange and in 1983 on the New York Stock Exchange. By the 1980's, the company was closing more than 4,500 homes each year in 11 states, with revenues of $294 million. By 1995, Pulte Corporation had become the largest homebuilder in the United States. In 1999, it became a Fortune 500 company, selling a record 26,622 homes that year. By 2005, that record was shattered as PulteGroup delivered 45,630 homes and generated consolidated revenues of $13.7 billion. Along the way, Bill led the company through the establishment of a mortgage company, the formation of a federal savings and loan, and the acquisition of Radnor Homes, DiVosta Homes, and Del Webb. In 2010, Fortune magazine recognized Pulte Homes as one of the world's most admired companies. Bill announced his retirement that same year.
Bill Pulte is survived by his loving wife Karen, his children Bryan, Mary Jo (Pam Dolan), Nancy (Kevin) Rickard, Tom (Molly), Katie (Tim) Moskalik, Bob (Mary Clare), Mark (Julie), Suzie Pulte Smith, Carolyn, Patrick McDonald, Michael (Anne) McDonald, Sharon McDonald, Mary Jane (Dave) Barrett; his 27 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held from 2pm – 8pm on Wednesday, March 14th and Thursday March 15th at Lynch & Sons 1368 N Crooks Rd, Clawson, MI 48017. The Funeral will be held at 10am on Friday, March 16th at Holy Name Catholic Church, 630 Harmon St, Birmingham, MI 48009.
There will be a memorial mass at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Naples, FL on Monday, March 26th at 10:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to the following organizations.
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