By Jeff Perlman
DELRAY BEACH — Entrepreneur and philanthropist Carl A. DeSantis died Aug. 10. He was 84.
Born in Boston in 1939 and raised in South Florida, Mr. DeSantis attended college at Florida State University in Tallahassee. He returned to Miami to begin his career managing retail drugstores before becoming an ambitious entrepreneur at a young age.
With a strong work ethic and boundless energy, he was the founding force behind Rexall Sundown. Under his leadership, the company became a global powerhouse offering a wide array of nutritional supplements. His dedication to quality, innovation and consumer trust became the hallmark of the company’s success.
Beyond Rexall Sundown, Mr. DeSantis saw the potential for a healthier alternative to sugary beverages, and played a pivotal role in bringing Celsius energy drinks to life.
His commitment to promoting well-being and offering products that contribute positively to people’s lives remained unwavering.
Mr. DeSantis was also a generous philanthropist, contributing to educational, spiritual and cultural organizations and institutions, including Florida State University, Florida Atlantic University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University and Bethesda Memorial Hospital.
The recently formed Carl Angus DeSantis Foundation has been active supporting local nonprofits that offer help to children in crisis and mentor those who need a helping hand. It also makes major donations to support Alzheimer’s research.
Mr. DeSantis’ legacy is one of inspiration, innovation and determination. He leaves behind a devoted family, friends and colleagues, and millions of consumers touched by his work.
His infectious laughter, warm smile and genuine interest in others endeared him to everyone he met. He was devoted to Delray Beach and lived for many years on the barrier island.
CDS International Holdings, the family office, will remain headquartered in Delray Beach.
He is survived by his children: Deborah (Mark) Colbert, Dean (Laura), and Damon (Cynthia); the mother of his children, Sylvia DeSantis; his sister, Dorothy (Joseph) Greene; his six grandchildren, Kyle (Adaliz), Cameron (Kelli), Katelyn Rowan-Miller (Campbell), Katie, Conor (Karissa), and Carson (Matt) Glasheen; his seven great-grandchildren; and nephew Brett and nieces Shari (Bryant) Pasley and Audrey.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 22 at Ascension Catholic Church in Boca Raton, followed by entombment at Our Lady Queen of Peace Mausoleum, Royal Palm Beach.
Contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association online at www.alz.org.