BOCA RATON, FLA. (WSVN) - Friends and family remembered one of South Florida’s most successful businessmen, Preston Henn, at his funeral Thursday.
Henn, the owner of the Swap Shop, which attracted millions each year, died of natural causes at the age of 86 in his Hillsborough Beach home, Sunday.
“He was an entrepreneur. He was a workaholic. He was passionate,” Henn’s friend John Rodstrom said. “He was a guy that went down the mountain on snow skis but never made a turn.”
Henn opened the Swap Shop in Lauderhill back in 1963 and grew it to be one of the largest tourist attractions in the state.
Henn was every bit as unique as the shop he started. He collected Ferraris, including a rare Enzo worth millions of dollars, which he once drove to a Wal-Mart.
“But I parked way out by myself,” he said at the time.
He also bought the first-ever Gulfstream 650 for $65 million.
“I don’t know that I’ll ever take a trip in it,” he said then, before almost immediately flipping it for a profit.
He was also generous with his money, hopping on a national cash giveaway trend and hiding $100 bills around his shop.
He once put a circus on a boat for the Winterfest Boat Parade.
But he made the news for other reasons, like the time a Broward Sheriff’s deputy Tasered him after he got into a fight with a tenant.
Another time, he had the circus removed from the Swap Shop after a dispute, covering their trailers with tow away stickers.
Those who knew him said he always had the best intentions at heart.
“He was not always easy with people, but if you met his standards he was very happy with you,” Henn’s friend, Bruce Rogow, said.
Broward County commissioners paused for a moment of silence for Henn, Tuesday, and on Thursday, his friends and family said goodbye.
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