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William T. Hubbard

July 1, 1936 ~ March 25, 2024 (age 87) 87 Years Old
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William T. Hubbard Obituary

William T. Hubbard, 87,  a Stewartville,MN resident died on Thursday(March 14, 2024) of natural causes at Arbor Terrace Senior Living in Rochester,MN  where he had been a resident since September of 2023.

William Tunnicliff Hubbard was born July 1, 1936 in Little Falls, N.Y. to William J. and Vera (Tunnicliff) Hubbard.  He attended Herkimer NY schools and worked in his grandfather's “Hubbard Heel Co.” factory. He graduated in 1954 from Herkimer HS and went to Syracuse University in Utica, NY for 2 years.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in  1956  serving 4 years including duty overseas in  Japan, Guam and Puerto Rico. He was in the Navy Seabees Reserves “construction battalion”  for another 23 years after that.  William married for the first time in 1955 to Vera L. Riggs and they had 2 daughters - Deborah Jean and Roxane Lynn. They were later divorced.   His 2nd marriage was on October 7, 1962 to Virta A. Haponski in Herkimer,NY. They had two children - Michele  and William  and  also raised Virta’s son Robert.  They moved from N.Y to Florida in 1966 where Bill was employed at Pratt and Whittney until joining IBM in 1967 in Boca Raton,Fl before transferring to IBM Rochester,MN in 1972.  He retired from IBM in 1995 and a few years later ,was rehired part time for another 10 years.

 He was an active member at Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester, MN, from 1972-2008 and then transferred to Stewartville UMC.  Bill was heavily involved in the Masonic Fraternity while living in New York and was raised to Master Mason on April 19, 1966, at the Herkimer Masonic Lodge No. 423 in Herkimer,NY. After moving to Minnesota he affiliated with Stewartville Masonic Lodge No. 203 and served as the Lodge Master for 4 years. He received the highly esteemed HIRAM award in 2006 and was chosen as Stewartville “Mason of the Year” in 1990, 1992 and 1998. Bill was currently a member of Pleasant Grove Lodge No. 22 and Austin Fidelity Lodge No. 39. He held memberships in the Order of the Eastern Star in MN, and currently in Austin, MN.  He served as the first ever Grand Organist in the, Grand Chapter, "Order of the Eastern Star" in MN.  He was a member in the York Rite and the Scottish Rite Valley of Rochester and was a member of the Osman Shrine Temple in St Paul, and the Rochester Area Shrine Club. He participated in over 600 parades with the Rochester Dragon Patrol, of which he was a charter member, helping raise monies for the Shriners Children’s Hospitals and Clinics.  He was president of the Dragon Patrol three times, was selected as “Dragon of the Year” in 2012 and was also active in the Austin Oriental Band.  He received the highest degree available in the Scottish Rite, the 33rd Degree, for lifelong service to the Brotherhood. He played Santa Claus at numerous Local Charity related events including Hy-Vee 37th St. North with Virta. He picked up many litter bags with fellow Masons and Shriners in fall and spring along MN roadways and placed Flags for Veterans in local cemeteries for Veterans Day.

Bill was a lifelong accomplished piano player and vocalist, he then began playing the organ at the age of 50.  All those who knew him were in awe of his talent as his fingers floated across the keys (even by memory). He was involved with coaching and sports with both kids and grandkids.  He enjoyed hunting, and especially loved fishing trips with family.  He enjoyed traveling and made it to 47 states in the US.  Bill was a member of the Rochester Male Chorus participating in hundreds of concerts and was able to visit multiple countries in Europe . He was even able to attend church services four days before he died. Church and music brought him great joy in life, and he loved to share those with others. He always had a smile, a kind word to say, and an ear to listen. 

Bill is survived by 2 daughters and 1 son; Roxy of VA;  Michele (Michael) of FL; and son William (Marie) of CO;  9 Grandchildren  - Cory, Josh , Bill , Heather, John, CJ, Taylor, Ryan, Megan and  Gabrielle ; 13  Great Grandchildren -Aurora, Abigail, Cayden, Paisley, Joe, John, Jackson, Beatris, Daisy, Jaycee, Alexis, Conrad, and Vayda and  his sister Beverly of NY.  He was preceded in death by his parents -William and Vera Hubbard, his wife Virta, and his daughter Deborah. 

A memorial service for Bill will be held June 1, 2024 at the UMC in Stewartville with Rev. Laura Nordstrom officiating. Time of service to be announced. Burial will take place at Oakhill Cemetery in Herkimer,NY. Arrangements are with Griffin- Gray FH in Stewartville. Condolences and memories of Bill are welcome at www.griffin-gray.com

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