DANIA BEACH (CBSMiami) – Monroe Udell, who founded Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour in Dania Beach died in his Hollywood home Sunday. He was 86.
Friends say he’ll be remembered not only for his popular ice cream shop, but for his philanthropy and his kindness.
For more than a half a century, the line at Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour has stretched out the door almost every weekend.
“I’ve been here, going to Jaxson’s since I’m like 9-years-old and every year we have to come here and every year there’s a line out the door,” said Lisa Barack. “It’s just the best experience ever and now I bring my kids.”
Most people at the ice cream shop don’t know the man behind their favorite tradition, the man who created Jaxson’s so many years ago but Jerry Smith knew him well.
“He was like a father to me,” said Smith, the general manager of Jaxson’s.
Monroe Udell founded Jackson’s in 1956. He’ll be remembered for more than just ice cream.
“Prior to the civil rights act of 1964, he hired African Americans when he was told quite plainly not to because he only had one set of restrooms,” said Smith, adding, “As a Jewish kid growing up in a tough neighborhood, he learned first-hand the effects of discrimination and hatred and I think he decided at a young age to do his best to dedicate himself to righting that as well as he could.”
Later in life Udell gave to charities, schools, and Joe DiMaggio children’s hospital and still managed to spend time at Jaxson’s nearly every day, creating an atmosphere where just about everyone feels at home.
“I like the crowd the people,” said Mark Branker. “The service is great.”
“Nice family outing nice place to gather the family and just sit and meet new people,” added Paul Hartley.
Smith said Udell died of cancer. Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El, 8200 Peters Rd. in Plantation.
Instead of flowers, the family requests donations go to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, 1005 Joe DiMaggio Dr., Hollywood, FL 33021.
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