Obituary: Frederick P Hobin, MD ME

Frederick P Hobin, MD ME was born in Passaic, New Jersey on Flag Day in 1935.  The occasion was blessed at the Penguin Club, which was owned by Fred’s father.  Performing “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes” to celebrate Fred’s birth, was a skinny, nineteen-year-old singer named Frank Sinatra.

Fred grew up in Boston and received his undergraduate degree from Tufts University.  He moved on to achieve his medical degree from the University of Vermont. After residency, Fred served as a US Army Captain in the Vietnam Evac 85 Hospital for one year. He began his career in Pathology; first in Jacksonville and then Palm Beach County.

Hobin was the initial medical examiner in the high-profile shooting death of Michelle O’Connell. He received unwelcomed celebrity after he completed the original Death Certificate — indicating that the death was a homicide. He later changed the cause of death to indicate that she had actually committed suicide. The fouled up investigation of one of his own deputy sheriffs, who was O’Connell’s live-in boyfriend, skyrocketed the case to national attention on network televised shows like ABC NightLine and Dr. Phil, a popular nationwide call-in radio broadcast, and a series of articles by Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times author Walt Bogdanich, made St Johns County Sheriff David B Shoar the scandalous focus of corruption and questionable ethics at the end of his law enforcement career.

Dr Hobin spent the last twenty plus years of his career as a Medical Examiner in South Florida. He loved the forensic pathology work so much that he did not fully retire until he was 81 years old.

He also fell in love with, and married, his wife of 58-years, Catherine.  The couple moved to St Augustine 20-years-ago and loved the area and our people. Fred is survived by his children Suzanne, Colleen and Rick as well as his sister Barbara. In addition to loving his family and career, Fred enjoyed hobbies including music, movies, reading, golf, fishing, and travel. His passion for glamour photography lasted more than 50-years.


St Johns Family Funeral Home reported to Historic City News that a celebration of Dr Hobin’s life will follow next summer.  They will announce the date, time, and location as they are in charge of the arrangements.