2014-01-16 / Obituaries

John Myers Hubbard, Jr.

John Myers Hubbard Jr. was 90 years old when he passed away peacefully on Dec. 1, 2013 at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City. For the last five and half years, he resided at San Carlos Elms, where he enjoyed the company of many of his fellow residents and the staff.

John was born January 7, 1923 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Augusta Kate Rinn Hubbard and John Myers Hubbard Sr. He became a Cincinnati Reds fan at an early age—a passion that endured throughout his life. During the summers of his youth, John journeyed west from his hometown of Wyoming, Ohio, with his parents and his older sister, (Ida) Margaret, to Fort Bidwell, Modoc County, Calif. to visit his mother’s family. There he became fascinated with the history of the Modoc Indian tribe—a subject that would become another lifelong passion.

After his father passed away in 1936, John, his mother, and sister moved to Palo Alto. He attended Palo Alto High School, began playing the clarinet, and wrote for the school newspaper’s sports page. He was accepted to San Jose State College and completed one year before World War II drew him away.

During the war, John enlisted in the Navy and was a lieutenant on the destroyer USS Cassin Young. He saw combat in the South and Central Pacific, and due to injuries he received during a kamikaze strike on his ship, John was awarded a Purple Heart. He also took up boxing and became a Golden Gloves winner during his service.

Upon his return from the war, John entered Stanford University, choosing journalism as a career and obtaining his BA with honors in 1947. He also became a devoted fan of Stanford football.

John became a reporter, staff writer and editor at Peninsula Newspapers, which included the Burlingame Advance Star, the Palo Alto Times and the Redwood City Tribune. For all three papers, he wrote regular columns entitled “Under the Courthouse Dome” and “Hubbard’s Cupboard,” and launched the innovative weekend supplement called “Peninsula Living.” Under his leadership, the Advance Star won a variety of statewide editorial honors, including, in one year, the most first-place prizes ever conferred on any newspaper in the history of the California Newspaper Publisher’s Association annual competition. John also received a national award for column writing and an outstanding contribution to journalism citation from the California Legislature for a series he wrote on immigrant farm workers.

While at the Advance Star, John met and married Diana Rose Rector. The couple had four children.

John also worked for the San Mateo County Community College District as the assistant to the chancellor for community relations and as a coordinator for occupational programs. He culminated his 45- year career in journalism as the business editor and ultimately the city editor for the San Mateo Times, from which he retired in 1992.

Following his retirement, John and his wife moved to Mariposa. There they enjoyed the natural beauty of Yosemite and Ponderosa Basin, and made new friends with whom they regularly played duplicate bridge. John, though not a born cat-lover, befriended a family of feral cats by feeding them twice a day. He gently captured each one over the years, took it to be spayed or neutered, and then released it back into the wild.

John Myers Hubbard Jr. is survived by his daughter Janet Lynn (Hubbard) Sonne, her husband Alan Sonne, and their two children, Kate and Chris; his son Julian John Hubbard and grandson Gabriel; his son Arthur James Hubbard, wife Elizabeth and their son Dustin; and his daughter Susan Terrell (Hubbard) Stockman and her husband Ronald Stockman; his niece, Beverly Chase; nephew, Peter Chase and his children; and John’s cousin Tom Hudson’s wife, children and grandchildren. All will miss and hold dear forever his sweet spirit, prankish good humor, epigramic one-liners and effervescence.

A ceremony celebrating his life will be a private event, but donations to The American Lung Association, The American Heart Association, or the SPCA in his name are invited and appreciated.

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