Obituary: St Augustine’s last real newspaper publisher

Alfred Hugh (Hoop) Tebault, born July 24, 1935, in Johnson Sanatorium, Tallahassee, Florida, passed away gently at his home on August 8, 2015 with his family at his side. He was the son of Alfred H. Tebault and Elizabeth Bolton Tebault.

He moved to St. Augustine at the age of one year, when his Father purchased the St. Augustine Record. He grew up on Davis Shores, living in one of only four houses there.   His first job as a young boy was delivering newspapers on his bicycle.

A proud graduate of Ketterlinus High School, President of the Class of ’53, he enjoyed hosting each Class Reunion, and they celebrated 60 years in the spring of 2013.  He remained close with many of his classmates, especially those who rode to Ketterlinus in the “Tebault Taxi”, Jerry and Dick Watson, Jimmy Moseley, Bruce Pacetti, who each paid him 25 cents a week for gas.  Tim Lane saved old oil from the gas station at the corner of Cordova and Orange Street where he worked and sold it to Hoop for 10 cents.

He attended the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, on Football Scholarship where he was an SAE.  He transferred to Florida State University where he graduated with a Degree in Journalism.

He was a proud member of the United States Marine Corp and would have remained a Marine but resigned his commission and returned home to take over the St. Augustine Record upon the death of his Father.

He was an active, community-minded Publisher for 20 years, a Rotarian, an originating Member of the St. Aug. Rod and Gun Club, a faithful member of Trinity Episcopal Church, a member of Club Limited, one of the oldest organized hunting clubs in America, the first President of the Navy League of St. Johns County, an enlisted member and Officer of the Florida National Guard, a multiple director and President of the Florida Press Association and an early member of the Ponce de Leon Country Club where he played with the “thieves”.

Upon his sale of the St. Augustine Record, he moved to Orange Park and founded Clay Today, a daily newspaper which he ran for several years, sold, and then retired to St. Augustine.

At the request of Lawrence Lewis, Founder of Flagler College, and President William L. Proctor, he joined the staff as Vice President of College Relations at $1 a year to raise funds, where he purchased Flagler Field, and developed the President’s Council along with many other avenues for giving.

He purchased the St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains and he and his family joined the tourist community for 20 years, an enjoyable and learning experience for all of them.  He ran the business like a giant family and cared for each employee.

An avid fisherman, a hunter, an adventurer and great storyteller, he lived life to its fullest each day. He and B. J. enjoyed RV life for several years, fished in Montana on the Big Horn River, purchased a home in Fort Smith, tossed fabulous parties, flying in shrimp, fish and gator tail, everyone in town came.  They hosted many guests, introducing them to the joy of fly fishing, and enjoyed 10 summers exploring the roads less taken.

After his devastating stroke and miraculous recovery, they gratefully rehabilitated for a second life in Sugarloaf Key, FL, and Franklin, NC, where he is a member of the Oak Grove Baptist Church family, making many new friends, and becoming a viable part of both communities.  He was the “silent donor” to many needy causes in both areas before returning home to Moultrie this past year.

Memorial services will be held 11:00 AM Friday August 14, 2015 at Craig Funeral Home Chapel, Dr. W. Hunter Camp, Memorial Presbyterian Church, officiating.

Flowers are gratefully declined, however, recognizing his life-long love of dogs, memorial gifts may be made to Wags and Whiskers, 1967 Old Moultrie Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32084; Friends of St. Johns County Pet Center, P.O. Box 7, St. Augustine, FL 32085 or Northeast Florida Community Hospice, 4266 Sunbeam Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32257.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 25 years, Barbara Jo (Josie), his children, Jane Elizabeth Tebault, of Social Circle, GA, David Tillman Griffith of Asheville, NC, Amy Griffith Capp and her husband Richard of St. Augustine.

His son, John Hugh Tebault, pre-deceased him as did his sister, Elizabeth Tebault Daly.

He was a wonderful, loving and generous “Gran’Pa” to his adored grandchildren, Amanda, Tyler, Isabel, Oliver and Jennifer and his great-grandchildren, Tristan and Trinity.   Also surviving are his niece, Paige Olson, and nephews, Scott Olson (Jan), their children, Riley and Gordon, and Kent Olson, and his son, Parker.

His extended and “adopted” family include B.J.’s Father, Bob Broadwater; sister, Jenny Broadwater Brown(Wil)and  brother, Bob(De)Broadwater, their son, Rob (Lynda) Broadwater and their son, Dylan; Pam Morris Versaggi (John), Marilyn Morris; Suzanne Stauble, her children, Luca and Kyra; and his best friend, Kenneth R. Kresge.

Each one of his family and friends loved to sit around on the porch and chat with “Hoopie”. He had a million fishing and hunting stories, incredible memories of “ole St. Augustine”, and he made them new and more exciting with each telling.  He was larger than life; it is the end of an Era.  He was our Family Patriarch. We loved him well.

Craig Funeral Home Crematory Memorial Park is in charge of the arrangements.

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