Theodore F. Hubbard

Dec. 5, 1926 - March 22, 2018
Theodore F. Hubbard, Dec. 5, 1926 - March 22, 2018

Theodore Hubbard, a horseman and music lover who played the banjo, died at home on March 22 at the age of 91 in the place he loved best: Montauk. He had moved to Montauk full time only last year, after becoming ill, having owned a house there for nearly half a century and having instilled his love of the East End in his children.

Mr. Hubbard was frequently called Big Ted to distinguish him from his son Ted Stanley Hubbard, who died last year, and because of his larger-than-life personality and frame. He had brought his family out east from Bay Shore in the 1950s. The family stayed at the Ronjo Motel in the early days, frequently heading out on the water to go boating and fishing. In 1969, they bought a prefabricated Leisure house at Culloden Point in Montauk, one of many designed by the architect Andrew Geller and sold by Macy’s.

Mr. Hubbard kept horses at Deep Hollow Ranch and Indian Field in Montauk, as well as at the family’s home UpIsland. In his later years, he learned to drive a team of horses and rode mules. He made trips to Amish country in Pennsylvania to visit horse auctions, and when he was 81 took some of his children and their friends on a memorable mule-pack trip in Arizona. He didn’t give up the saddle until he was 87 years old.

According to his family, Mr. Hubbard loved to sing and was known in Bay Shore for organizing hootenannies, a tradition continued by two of his children. He played the guitar when he was younger, but took up the banjo at the age of about 65, traveling to Massachusetts for extended weekends at “banjo camp.” 

His children have followed in his footsteps, playing guitar and performing during coffeehouse events at the Montauk Community Church. “He had a beautiful voice, even up until the days before he died,” his daughter Lori Hubbard of Montauk said yesterday.

“He loved to dance, laugh, joke, and do a crossword puzzle,” his family said, “but most of all loved his family. He was generous to a fault, always going the extra mile to help anyone he could.”

Theodore F. Hubbard was born on Dec. 5, 1926, to Frank S. Hubbard and the former Mildred Raynor, in Bay Shore. He grew up there with three siblings, spending time at his grandparents’ farm, which had been in the family for nearly two centuries before being sold to become the site of Bay Shore High School. He never forgot the day his grandfather, who had always driven a horse and wagon, came home with the family’s first automobile. 

The Hubbard family ran a sand and gravel business in the days when loading a dump truck with sand meant “taking a shovel and literally loading the dump truck by hand,” his family said. Mr. Hubbard managed the sand pit as an adult, and after its resources gave out, bought Brookhaven Aggregates of Coram.

He married his wife, Margot, between Christmas and New Year’s in 1956. He had just left the Army, in which he served from 1952 to 1954, although he was stationed in Germany and did not see action in the Korean War. He and his wife moved to Miller Place in their 60s. Before the move, Mr. Hubbard was a firefighter for some 25 years with the Bay Shore Fire Department and a fire commissioner for seven years. The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2016.

In addition to his son Ted S. Hubbard, the couple had four other children: Dan Hubbard of Bloomsburg, Pa., Amy Hubbard and Lori Hubbard of Montauk, all three of whom survive. Their fourth son, Frankie, died when he was a toddler. Mr. Hubbard also is survived by seven grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. 

A service will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton, with another service at 1 p.m. at the Montauk Community Church with the Rev. Bill Hoffmann officiating. The family has suggested memorial contributions to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach 11978.