Leila Gompertz: Her legacy will long impact the Suncoast

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Lelia Gompertz died at age 94 on Saturday. But her gifts to the Suncoast Community makes it a better place to live.

She was born in 1919 in New Haven, Connecticut. She and her husband Michael, President of Gompertz Printing Company, retired to Sarasota in 1977. She volunteered for the Community Foundation for 18 years and gave $2 million to build the new center on Fruitville Road.

Planned Parenthood was another passion of hers, and she gave them $1 million to build their new headquarters on Central Avenue.

Lelia loved theatre from the time she was growing up in New Haven, Connecticut. She volunteered at the Florida Studio Theatre, and her gifts allowed them to buy the Theatre Works building  behind their original theatre and remodel it into a state of the art facility that contains 3 theatres, various classrooms and a restaurant. She was dearly loved by all who worked with her. Her only son, Stephen, who lives in California, says she believed if you have something, you are obligated to share it with others.

She suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and left her brain to be studied by scientists to seek a cure for the disease.