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John Hubbard '82

John Hubbard, the second child of Anna Shines of Georgia and Clifton Hubbard Sr. of Maryland, was born on a mild fall day on November 1, 1928.

He was called home to glory on November 22, 2018. He led a fulfilled life committed to his family and community. John and his siblings were educated in the Philadelphia Public School system. He attended Germantown High School and graduated in 1947. Shortly after graduating from high school, he worked at Sears and Roebucks Company before being drafted into the army.

In 1951, John received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Army, serving during the Korean conflict. When he returned to Philadelphia, he resumed his employment at the Sears and Roebucks Company in Northeast Philadelphia and completed coursework at Temple University. John was proud of his extended family's historical, deep roots within the Christian church. He began his own Christian journey at an early age and attended Canaan Baptist Church in Germantown where he was baptized. As an adult, he later attended and sang on the choir at Haven Memorial Methodist Church in North Philadelphia.

In 1952, John discovered his true love. He was hanging out in his glossy, red Pontiac with his brother Cliff waiting for Leonard Armstrong, Cliff's college buddy, when he noticed this stunning brunette. The stunning brunette was Roberta Armstrong, Leonard's baby sister! Well, that was it. John, affectionately known as "Cat," was smitten by the love bug. He later married the love of his life, Roberta Armstrong. The strength and power of their love made them inseparable for over 65 years. From this union two children were born, Kim and Gina.

A man of many trades and diverse interests, John initially provided for his family by working as an insurance salesman. The newlyweds purchased their first home on Harold Street in North Philadelphia where they met neighbors that would become life-long friends. Civic minded and concerned about social injustices that affected the African-American community, he developed a friendship with Frank Stanley, an attorney, who introduced him to local politics and stimulated his political aspirations. He served the constituents of the 28 th Ward, 18 th division and was committed to helping them improve living standards in their community and gain access to government officials.

John launched a campaign for state representative after serving two terms as Committeeman since he felt at the time that his constituents' voices were being ignored in Harrisburg. John held progressive ideas and continued to pursue public office seeking a City Council seat in the 1970s.

John was a student of history and understood that political power was essential to social reforms in his community and beyond. He became a member of the Young Democrats chapter in Philadelphia, a political action organization whose mission was to support progressive candidates and get out the democratic vote. As president of the Poe-Richard Club of Germantown, Inc., a community service organization, he assisted in the planning of annual civic and political events.

Under his leadership, the organization sought to help ameliorate problems with gangs, improve local residents' access to medical care, and establish a youth football league in the Germantown, Mt. Airy, and Chestnut Hill sections of the city. Both organizations registered voters, fundraised, and publicly advocated for democratic candidates. Many fundraisers for candidates like Martin Weinberg and former Mayors Wilson Goode and Edward Rendell were held at the Hubbard home. Anyone looking for Poe Richard Club members, could find them crowded around the bar at Richard's lounge on Mt. Pleasant Avenue.

John's endeavors in the political arena made him well-known in Philadelphia Political circles. The late Mayor Frank L. Rizzo, appointed him to the position of Deputy Director of the Philadelphia Anti-Poverty Action Commission (PAAC) in 1977, where he served for several years. In 1962, General Tire and Rubber Company hired and trained John to manage one of their service stores. After a successful 13-year career at General Tire and a trip to Jamaican for phenomenal sales growth, he transitioned to manage a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Northeast Philadelphia where he continued to receive numerous accolades and awards for his work.

He took a two year leave of absence from Goodyear Tire to assume the directorship of the 2501 Primary Care Community Health Center in North Philadelphia. His experiences and love for managing a healthcare facility persuaded him to continue his career in healthcare administration.

Subsequently, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in health administration from Antioch.

A committed public servant, John was appointed to board positions across an array of healthcare and civic organizations. Former Mayor Edward Rendell appointed him to several board positions in 1992 and 1994. These organizations include the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia, the Recreation Coordination Board, the Health Transition Team, and Board of Directors for the African American Delaware Valley Port Corporation. Exercising his acumen for business while continuing his interest in public health, he later opened his own health center, York Street Medical Center, providing health services to local residents.

He believed that "Primary Health Care centers have a major role to play in their communities in promoting the public's health and preventing disease." John could be described as a "workaholic," but he always placed his time with family and friends above all other things.

He loved to travel with his wife and family whether it was spending time in Atlantic City during the summer months, cruising to Nassau and the Bahamas with friends, or partaking in extended trips across the country and to Europe. In England, he discovered the Hubbard Family Crest and Coat of Arms. The unbreakable bonds with his siblings Cliff, Bessie, and Robert were deep and so distance was not allowed to keep them apart. John, Roberta and the kids frequently took road trips to Delaware and Baltimore to spend time with Cliff and Robert and their families. Fun-loving John enjoyed a good party and frequently hosted them for family and friends throughout the year at his house. Every Thursday night John and Roberta hosted friends for a wicked game of Pinochle and everyone accused John of cheating when he "rubbed" their heads.

During the years of his retirement, he continued to help members of his community and family whenever possible. Constituents and friends sought his assistance in finding jobs, solving legal matters and much more. He exuberantly discussed current local and national politics and voted in each election. He and Roberta loved escaping the city to travel down to Ocean City, Maryland to bask in the sun and sand with family and friends. He took out time to indulge one of his other favorite past-times, fishing often with his friends, Thom Williams and Harold Gaines.

John was a proud member of the mighty Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He proudly wore the black and gold, joining his blood brothers Clifton and Robert as fraternity brothers. He leaves to mourn and cherish is memory, his loving wife, Roberta Hubbard; two daughters, Gina Hubbard and Kim Noble; Benjamin Noble, son-in-law; three grandchildren, Roberta Noble, John Noble, and Olivia Noble; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.