To our colleagues and friends at Figure Eight Properties:
With deep sadness, I must share that we have lost one of the great pillars of our organization, our fearless leader and principal – Mr. Jeff Digel. We are sad to announce that Jeff Digel passed away yesterday afternoon at home surrounded by his family. Although we are mourning the lost of a dear friend, we wish to celebrate the life of the dynamic and charismatic man who touched our lives.
He was born in Rantoul, Illinois on March 29, 1956, the first of Bob and Shirley Digel’s four children, and acquired his love for the outdoors growing up in McKean County, Pennsylvania. Jeff completed his undergraduate studies at Middlebury College and obtained a Master’s degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He spent most of his business career in real estate finance and development.
Real estate first appealed to Jeff Digel because it combined architecture, finance, geography, and economic systems. As he built his career, he was drawn to the investment side as he found it drew on his skills as a calculated risk taker and salesperson. As a co- founder and Executive Vice President of iStar Financial Inc., Jeff helped build the company’s investment team and originated over $3 billion in structured finance assets.
In Figure Eight Properties, Jeff recognized the chance to bring together the disparate skills of a group of real estate professionals to form a company that provided a personalized, concierge-level service that larger companies cannot provide their clients. He was interested in all types of real estate investing, focused primarily in New England.
Jeff had a wonderful sense of fun and adventure. He was always in search of his next activity, which manifested itself in a broad array of interests including skiing, biking, sailing, golfing, hiking, hunting, and travel. In the rare event a friend or family member was going on an adventure that Jeff wasn’t already leading, he immediately joined in. He was also an enthusiastic learner who always had a book at hand, typically involving American history or politics.
He was active in his community as a philanthropist. Notably, he was the co-founder and first chairman of the board of Covenant Preparatory School, an independent, interfaith, tuition-free middle school for boys from under-served families in the Hartford area. He also served on the boards of several non-profit organizations including: Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford County Habitat for Humanity, and Achievement First Hartford Academy.
Jeff loved people and quickly endeared himself to them. He was an empathetic listener who truly cared about everyone he met and had countless dear friends. Most of all, Jeff loved, and was loved by, his family. They shared amazing times together that will never be forgotten: ski weeks, family holidays, summer vacations and spontaneous outings. No one could ask for a better husband, father, son, brother, or friend. He is survived by his loving wife, Jane, his sons Sam and his wife Anna, Ben, his mother Shirley, and siblings Marty and his wife Debbie, Peter and his wife Pam, Julie and her husband Brian.
He has touched the lives of so many people. We miss you Jeff. Your kindness, wisdom, charm and passion will not be forgotten.
All of us at Figure Eight Properties