Edgar, Sylvia & Jack Kugelman
After the sale and closure of the family business, Standard Distributing Company, Jack and Jane founded the foundation, dedicating it exclusively to benefit Pensacola. Their philanthropic efforts span various domains, including healthcare and education, children and innovation, among other worthy causes.
Today, their grandchildren Jane Lauter (President), Sarah Ryan (Vice President and Secretary), and David Foster (Vice President and Treasurer), continue the foundation’s mission, focusing on Pensacola to uphold the enduring legacy of the Kugelman Family’s dedication to their beloved city.
Jack Kugelman, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, and a dedicated family man, left an indelible mark on the Pensacola community through his tireless work as a businessman and his unwavering commitment to philanthropy. Born in 1924, Jack’s journey in life took a significant turn when he relocated to Pensacola in 1936 alongside his beloved wife, Jane.
In Pensacola, Jack and Jane started a family and embarked on a journey of entrepreneurship, immersing themselves in a family business venture. Jack’s strong work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, and dedication to his craft propelled him to become a successful businessman, earning respect and admiration within the local business community.
Beyond his business endeavors, Jack was also an avid golfer, finding solace and enjoyment on the golf course. It was a passion he shared with friends, creating cherished memories.
However, Jack’s impact extended far beyond his immediate family. He was deeply involved in the growth and betterment of Pensacola as a whole. His dedication to the city and its people led him to become actively engaged in various philanthropic endeavors. This commitment to giving back was deeply rooted in his upbringing, instilled in him by his parents, Edgar and Sylvia Kugelman.
In honor of their shared passion for making a positive impact, Jack and Jane founded the Kugelman Foundation. Through this foundation, they sought to carry their legacy forward, leaving an enduring mark on the community they held dear. Their vision extended to future generations, with the hope that their daughters and grandchildren would continue the tradition of philanthropy, ensuring that the foundation’s impact would stretch far into the future.
Jack Kugelman’s life exemplified the values of hard work, family, and community engagement. His legacy lives on not only in the businesses he helped build but also in the countless lives he touched through his philanthropic efforts. In his memory, Pensacola continues to flourish, a testament to his enduring commitment to the city and its people.
During his life he was a part of numerous boards of nonprofits, Community Service and financial contributions to Sacred Heart Hospital, Baptist Hospital, Temple Beth-El, Pensacola Jewish Foundation, Pensacola Junior College Foundation, Kugelman Center for Telecommunications, Covenant Care, Children’s Home Society, The University of West Florida plus other numerous health and educational organizations throughout our community. He was Past President of Fiesta of Five Flags, Past Director and Tournament Chairman of the Pensacola Sports Association, where he earned a spot in the PSA’s Hall of Fame, and received “Sportsman of the Year” award, Past Board Member of the USO, he was awarded the Pace “Spirit of Pensacola” award in 1994, voted “Foundation Fellow” by PJC Foundation Board of Governors in 1996, was recipient of the Order of the Cornett Award (Donor Recognition) from the Sacred Heart Health Care Foundation in May of 2003 and past Board Member of the Northwest Florida Girl Scouts Federation.
Growing up alongside her beloved younger sister, Marcia, Jane’s formative years were enriched by the bonds of sisterhood and the values instilled by her parents. A thirst for knowledge led her to the University of Alabama, where she embarked on her higher education journey, setting the stage for a lifetime of learning and personal growth.
In a twist of fate that would shape her life profoundly, Jane’s path crossed with that of Jack Kugelman, the love of her life. It was through her sister that their serendipitous meeting occurred. On September 21, 1947, at the iconic Plaza Hotel in New York City, Jane and Jack exchanged vows, embarking on a lifelong journey of love and partnership.
Their love story led them to Pensacola, a place that Jane would forever hold close to her heart. In this charming coastal city, they raised four adoring daughters, nurturing a close-knit family that became the center of their world.
One of her most cherished roles was a founder and active participant in the Foundation. Her unwavering commitment to philanthropy was a testament to her generosity and her desire to create a better world for future generations in her charming coastal city that she loved so dearly.
Beyond her philanthropic endeavors, Jane found joy and fulfillment in a myriad of interests. She was an avid lover of family, movies, Broadway shows, walking, entertaining, tennis, volunteering, and globetrotting with her beloved husband. To her family, she was not just a mother and grandmother but also a beloved “Nonie” who showered her precious grandkids and great-grandkids with unconditional love and wisdom. Her actions were characterized by kindness, wisdom, gentleness, and an unwavering passion for life.
Her life served as a testament to the profound impact one person can have on their family and in their community. Her memory lives on, inspiring us all to lead lives filled with love, compassion, and dedication to the causes that matter most.