Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:12

Remembering Samuel Hubbard, Class of 1973

SAMUEL WALTON HUBBARD, JR. (Age 87) Rear Admiral, US Navy (Ret.) Passed away at his home in Springfield, VA on January 2, 2017 after a fulfilling life of service and friendship, finally succumbing to neuroendocrine cancer.

Sam was a decorated naval officer and combat veteran. He was also a church member, Scoutmaster, sailor and valued friend. He will be fondly remembered as a fun, humorous, loving, and good-natured man with whom people genuinely enjoyed spending time. He believed in duty and honor and was a good and honest man who was loved by many who celebrate his life and lament his passing.

Sam was born in Eoline, AL on August 23, 1929, son of Samuel Walton Hubbard and Elizabeth Moody Hubbard. He graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University) in 1951. He joined the U.S. Navy in November 1951 as a Naval Aviation Cadet and received his wings and commission as an Ensign in April 1953. Early in Sam's naval career he was an instructor in the Primary Flight Training program in Pensacola, a Flag Lieutenant and aide, and an instructor in the F-8 (Crusader) Replacement Squadron (VF-124) at NAS Miramar.

He commanded VF-62 at NAS Cecil Field and aboard the USS Shangri La (CV 38), served in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) and commanded Carrier Air Wing 19 out of NAS Lemore. Sam flew in combat in Vietnam in 1965 with Fighter Squadron 154 (F-8s) as a replacement pilot and Operations Officer. His second Vietnam combat tour was as Commander of Air Wing 19 aboard the USS Oriskany (CV 34) in 1971. As a commander, Sam attended the Naval War College (Command and Staff) in 1966 and 1967.

He attended the National War College in 1972 and 1973, receiving an MS in International Relations from George Washington University. Sam was promoted to captain and assigned as commanding officer of the fleet oiler USS Ponchatoula (AO 148) out of Pearl Harbor. His next assignment was as commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) based in San Diego.

Sam was promoted to rear admiral and assigned as Deputy Defense Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to NATO in Brussels. Subsequently, he was assigned to the Office of International Programs in the Department of Defense as the Deputy to the Assistant Secretary. His final assignment in the U.S. Navy was as Director of Naval Aviation Personnel and Training in OPNAV (OP-59).

His military awards and honors include the Legion of Merit (with the Combat "V"), the Department of Defense Superior Service Award with a gold star, the Air Medal with numeral "14", and the Navy Commendation Award with three stars. Upon retirement from the U.S. Navy on 1 January 1983, Sam joined Aérospatiale as U.S. Vice President until 1991. He continued as a consultant for several years and enjoyed a full retirement in 1997. Sam enjoyed boating, carpentry, building and fixing things. He joined Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in 1983 where he assisted with maintenance, served on the building committee, and was Scoutmaster of the church sponsored Boy Scouts of America troop. He was a member of The Golden Eagles, an association of pioneers in naval aviation. For many years he was one of The Ancient Athletes at the South Run Recreation Center.

Admiral Hubbard is survived by his wife of 53 years Elizabeth Lee Whiteley and their four children: Elizabeth Lynn Hubbard (David Zapolsky) and sons Sam Turshman and Ian Zapolsky; Kathryn Lee Hargadon (David) and sons Jake, John, Ryan and Danny; Jessica Hubbard Brown (David); and Benjamin Walton Hubbard; his brother, Thomas Michael Hubbard (Mary); and many other beloved relatives. The funeral will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 8304 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, VA, followed by a reception at the Springfield Golf and Country Club.

Interment with Full Honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church or SmileTrain. Online condolences can be made on the Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home website at www.fmfh.com. Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Wank and his team at the National Institutes of Health for their work on the Natural History of Familial Carcinoid Tumor Study.

Obituary courtesy of Legacy.
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