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Longboat Key Tuesday, Jun. 8, 2010 7 years ago

Cail: a teacher of life's lessons

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Andy Cail wore many hats. She was a Realtor for 23 years, the past 18 of which she spent working with her son, Tom Cail III. She was a former interior designer who had projects published in Better Homes and Gardens in the 1970s. She was an active volunteer and a wife, mother and grandmother. But in all those roles, she remained a teacher, despite the fact that more than four decades had passed since she taught middle school.

She taught her son, who was also her business partner, that anything worth doing was worth doing well. She taught organization when planning her events. She used her golden retriever, Zoe, to teach children when she volunteered at Reading Fur Fun. The pair would sit and listen while young readers sounded out words.

“Gee, I wonder what that word means?” she would ask, encouraging the child to talk.

“You were watching a master teacher,” her husband, Dr. Tom Cail said.

Anne-Marie “Andy” Cail, of Longboat Key, died Monday, June 7. She and her son formed the Cail Group in 1992, which eventually expanded to become the Cail-Grande Group of Michael Saunders & Co. She was 73.

According to Michael Saunders & Co. founder and President Michael Saunders, Cail’s values made her effective as a salesperson.

“In her personal life and her professional life, every day she woke up and did what was right,” Saunders said.

Born Nov. 8, 1937, she was a former resident of Chestnut Hill, Mass., and graduate of Boston College. She married Tom Cail in 1959, and the couple lived in Pensacola while he served in the U.S. Marine Corps, before returning to the Boston area while he attended Tufts University Dental School. During that time, Andy Cail taught middle school in the Weston, Mass., school system until Tom Cail III was born. She went on to study interior design. In 1978, the Cails returned to Florida and settled in the Sarasota area.

Cail earned her real-estate license in 1987. Five years later, when she and her son became business partners, she taught him the ropes of real estate.

“Over the years, of all the Realtors I met, they all said how much they respected my mom,” he said.

For Tom Cail, watching the mother/son business team brought great pride.

“They were absolutely the best of friends,” he said.

To those around her, Cail also taught the importance of friendship.

“To have a friend, you have to be one,” she often said.

“She was creating a friend when she sold a house,” Tom Cail said.

Cail was a skilled tennis player, who, according to Longboat Key Club and Resort Tennis Director John Woods, a friend for 30 years, had a great serve and forehand shot on the court. And off the court, she was known for her parties, particularly the ones she threw on Christmas Eve. She also organized the All-Star Children’s Foundation’s annual Lunch Bunch at the Key Club.

Cail remained active when she was diagnosed with cancer seven years ago. In that time, she saw her son get married, celebrated the births of grandchildren and went to Paris to celebrate her 50th anniversary. She continued to work, play tennis and volunteer.

“She wasn’t into self pity,” Tom Cail said.

Cail is survived by her husband, Dr. Tom Cail, of Longboat Key; son, Thomas Cail III, of Sarasota; daughter, Elizabeth Allen Brewer, of Clarence, N.Y.; and three grandchildren.

A celebration of life will take place at 4 p.m. Monday, June 14, at Toale Brothers Funeral Home, 40 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation,, the Humane Society of Sarasota County,, or TideWell Hospice and Palliative Care,

Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].

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