Robert Findlay, who passed away three days after Christmas at age 94, was the real estate visionary who developed the Lake Interlochen residential community more than forty years ago.

Mr. Findlay is responsible for developing more than 1,500 home sites in Arlington, with Interlochen his signature project. In 1970, he began studying the 100 plus acres in the flood-plain where Rush Creek and Village Creek merged, looking at various development approaches. His brilliant decision was to dig a network of canals, using the fill dirt to elevate the home sites.

“We compacted the fill to highway standards to make sure we wouldn’t have shifting problems,” Findlay said. The first house was built in 1972. Today Interlochen has 140 waterfront residences and another 126 residences located off the water throughout the 107-acre neighborhood.

The lake Mr. Findlay created is nationally acclaimed by the Urban Land Institute. Lake Interlochen is a private 12-acre lake with five channels. There are nearly three miles of shoreline and 1.4 linear miles of water with a maximum depth of 15 feet. This lake is part of the rainwater drainage system serving northwest Arlington. Because of Mr. Findlay’s foresight, this drainage system is a source of aesthetic beauty as well as being used for boating, swimming, and fishing. Mr. Findlay had a pump and overflow system designed to keep the lake at the proper level.

Mr. Findlay created the Lake Interlochen Homeowners Association in the early 1970s to maintain, preserve, regulate, and promote the beautification, use, and utility of the lake system. His foresight also brought about one of Arlington’s proudest traditions – the Interlochen Christmas Lights.

Interlochen is but one of Mr. Findlay’s outstanding achievements.

He graduated magna cum laude from Abilene Christian College and earned his MBA from Harvard University. He was president of the Builders Association of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, president of the State Home Builders’ Association and a member of the National Association of Home Builders. He was the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Arlington and a 50-year volunteer of the Red Cross. Bob was the president of the UTA Advisory Committee for the Friends of the Library. He was involved in many other organizations. His honors included Realtor of the Year for Fort Worth; Builder of the Year for Fort Worth; and the President’s Distinguished Service Award from the NAHB. He served on the Board of Visitors for Texas Wesleyan University and was an admiral in the Texas Navy. He was the recipient of the Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellowship and served as president of the Fort Worth Harvard Business Club. Mr. Findlay was the co-founder and chairman of the board for the Arlington National Bank. At the age of 80, the city of Arlington named a linear park in his honor, the Bob Findlay Linear Park. Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck paid tribute to Mr. Findlay, citing his many contributions to the city over the years.

Mr. Findlay and his wife Carole resided in the neighborhood he created. Neighbors and friends gathered at his residence following a memorial service to honor the legacy and memory of Robert Findlay – a pioneer builder who visualized, then developed, and then lived for nearly half a century on the shores of his dream — Lake Interlochen.