Stuart (Stu) Rounds Taber died peacefully July 16 at his home on the creek in Monroe, following a courageous two-and-one-half year battle with cancer. He was born in Pawtucket, R.I. A 1958 graduate of South Broward High School in Hollywood, Fla., he was a talented football and baseball player and pitcher. He played summer league baseball in New England during his high school years. At Florida State University, he played football and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, graduating in 1962. He was a member and former elder in the Presbyterian Church.
During the 1960s, Mr. Taber served in the Army Security Agency and was stationed in Japan and Arlington Station in Washington D.C. He was on the army's football team as player, coach and captain.
Following military service, he taught and coached at Jupiter High School in Jupiter, Fla., and in 1967 began his work with the American Red Cross in South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida. As a part of his Red Cross work, he participated and managed several national disaster relief efforts including Hurricane Camille in Mississippi in 1969, taught in and managed many water safety schools and served as manager of several Red Cross blood centers. At the time of his retirement in 1998, Mr. Taber served as the CEO of the Central Florida Chapters of the American Red Cross and lived in Ormond Beach, Fla.
Following retirement, still wanting to make a difference, Mr. Taber became the executive director of the Newton County Community Partnership, the Family Connection organization in Covington from 1998 to the present. Through his innovation and leadership, many programs and services have been implemented that benefit the lives of children, families and the community. Recently, he was most proud of the new Hands on Newton program to coordinate volunteerism and volunteer services in Newton County. It had long been a dream of his to establish a center of volunteer services to coordinate volunteer activities in the community.
Throughout his life, Mr. Taber was an active member of the Rotary Club in several locations. He twice served as president of the Covington Rotary Club and received the Distinguished Rotarian of the Year award in 2006 and 2007. He was an active member of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce where he served on the Executive Board and as chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee. He was also on the Newton County United Way Board of Directors and served as president on the Newton County Mental Health Association.
Mr. Taber was an avid golfer and a member of the Monroe Golf and Country Club. He was a gardener and cultivator of his home's beautiful yard and grounds. Mr. Taber was a lover of jazz and blues music and a connoisseur of good food and single malt Scotch. He had a contagious laugh, a memorable personality and an unforgettable sense of humor. He was preceded in death by parents Ruth Armour Taber and Stuart Earl Taber.
Surviving are daughters Kimberly Taber of San Francisco, Karen Taber Perry and her husband Frank and their daughter Taylor of Jenkinsburg, Ashley Taber and her daughter Kayla of Port Orange, Fla.; sister Debbie Taber Diaz of Riviera Beach, Fla.; several aunts, uncles, cousins and many devoted friends.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. today, July 16, at First Presbyterian Church. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Stu Taber Memorial Scholarship fund to support Camp Sunshine for children with cancer, c/o Covington Rotary Club or to Hands on Newton, c/o Newton County Community partnership. Contributions to both of these charities can be sent to the attention of Doug Bolton, 8234 Geiger st., Suite 1, Covington, GA 30014.
The Covington News July 16, 2008