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Judson Luther Hobby
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Birth: Jan. 9, 1917
Georgia, USA
Death: Aug. 15, 2009
Turner County
Georgia, USA

Judson Luther Hobby
August 15, 2009

Funeral services for Judson Luther Hobby, 92, of Ashburn, GA. will be held Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 10:00 AM at the First Baptist Church, Ashburn, GA. Mr. Hobby passed away Saturday, August 15, 2009 due to complications that began when a 100-year-old pecan tree fell on him during a summer storm in August, 2008. Interment will follow in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Ashburn.

The son of the late Osie Lewis and Mary Frances Haman Hobby, he was born in Turner Co., GA. Mr. Hobby was former Sheriff of Seminole County Florida and retired from the Seaboard Coastline Railroad as an engineer. He was a member of the Ashburn First Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and was a member of The Gilbert Branch Sunday School Class. He was preceded in death by his wife, Grace A. Hobby in 1997 and a grandson Matthew Clayton Hobby in 2006.

Raised in the forks of Deep Creek, he walked three miles to school and home each day. He finished Rebecca High School in 1934. He received a grant-in-aid to go to Middle Georgia College in Cochran, GA. At 6'5" he was the tallest in his class and was selected to the Varsity Basketball Squad. They were the 1936 State Champs and he recently donated the original plaque to the student body. In 1940, hired as a fireman on the Atlantic Coastline Railroad, he worked in that position until the outbreak of WWII. He became a locomotive engineer strategically transporting troops and war suppplies. He worked on the railroad until he took a leave-of-absence in 1952 to become Sheriff of Seminole County, Florida. He served as sheriff for 16 years. In 1953, he appointed the first black Deputy Sheriff in the State of Florida. He was always the highest vote getter and won every election. After 16 years as Sheriff, with full seniority from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, he returned to the Seaboard Coastline Railroad. He drove the "Silver Meteor" from Wildwood to Miami until his retirement in 1982. He and Grace returned to the "Forks of Deep Creek" to raise cattle and renew old friendships. Until his accident, he also served as docent and historian for the Sam's Shortline Railroad, a popular passenger excursion train that runs from Cordele to Plains, Georgia.

Survivors include his children, Mary Grace Hobby, Ashburn, GA.; Judson Hobby, Marietta, GA; Lela Hobby-Burns, Longmeadow, MA and David A. Hobby, Midland, TX. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

For those who wish in lieu of flowers, please make donations to Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer, 5775 Glenridge Dr., Building C, Suite 120, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

The family will receive friends Friday evening from six until eight at Perry Funeral Chapel, Ashburn.

Judson Luther "J.L." Hobby , who was sheriff in Seminole County in the 1950s and '60s, died Saturday .
Hobby was 92 and lived in his hometown of Ashburn, Ga., a funeral director there said.

When Hobby came into office in the early 1950s, moonshiners, cattle rustlers and citrus thieves were among the county's top criminals, said Seminole County Chief Deputy Steve Harriett.

The Sheriff's Office employed five people including the sheriff and a chief deputy , Harriett said. Today, about 1,100 people work for the office.

Hobby , known as Luther, was described in a 1956 Orlando Sentinel article as a "Bible-quoting Georgia Cracker boy ." He often wore a trademark felt Stetson-type hat and a bolo tie, said Harriett, who was a child when Hobby was in office.

Hobby's leadership was marred by an indictment by a federal grand jury on charges of illegally taking money from moonshiners, according to a 1956 Sentinel article. He was reelected to a second four-year term that year even though then-Gov. LeRoy Collins had suspended Hobby from office in 1955.

In 1968, Hobby was again under indictment -- this time on bribery charges -- and again ran for sheriff. He apparently lost in a runoff, according to Sentinel archives. Details of the election and the disposition of Hobby's criminal cases were not available late Saturday .

During Hobby's tenure, the Seminole County population, currently more than 400,000, was no more than one-quarter that size and concentrated in the northern part of the county , Harriett said.

The primary industries were cattle ranching, citrus farming and growing vegetables such as celery and cabbage. The railroad also was big in Sanford. Today , much of Seminole is mainly suburban.

Hobby was a railroad engineer before he was elected.

Family links: 
  Ossie Lewis Hobby (1892 - 1963)
  Mary Frances Haman Hobby (1894 - 1976)
  Agnes Grace Hunkins Hobby (1918 - 1997)
  Judson Luther Hobby (1917 - 2009)
  Beatrice Hobby Hobby (1919 - 2004)*
  Mary Frances Hobby Reynolds (1924 - 2007)*
*Calculated relationship
Rose Hill Cemetery
Turner County
Georgia, USA
Created by: Donald E. Garrett
Record added: Aug 21, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40948047
Judson Luther Hobby
Added by: Joseph Rodgers
Judson Luther Hobby
Added by: Joseph Rodgers
Judson Luther Hobby
Added by: Donald E. Garrett
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