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Four-term Jefferson County Sheriff David Hobbs died at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital (TMH) on Monday afternoon, Sunday, Nov. 27. Hobbs, who was 58, had been battling cancer for about a year.
According to a family member, Hobbs was admitted to TMH on Nov. 12 for shortness of breath and pneumonia symptoms. Upon testing and treating the pneumonia, a complication arose with a lung cancer medicine that he was taking. On Friday, Nov. 17, he was placed in the Intensive Care Unit, where doctors from TMH and the Moffitt Cancer Center worked tirelessly on his behalf.
Unfortunately, due to the complications from the cancer medications, he passed away peacefully with his immediate family in the room, the family member said.
Hobbs was first elected Sheriff in 2004 and reelected to the office in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
A lifelong county resident and graduate of Jefferson County High School, Hobbs served six years in the United States Marine Corps, eight years with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and 11 years with the Florida Highway Patrol.
His community involvement was extensive. He was a member of Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce, the J.O.Y. Program (which supplies bicycles to underprivileged children at Christmas), the American Cancer Society Relay for Life (which he chaired two years), and The United Way and the Senior Citizens Center, among other civic and community organizations.
Professionally, he was a member of the Florida Sheriffs Association and sat on this group’s Board of Directors for four years. In 2014, Governor Rick Scott appointed him to serve on the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.
Hobbs is credited with promoting legislation that requires state drivers licenses and ID cards to identify sexual offenders. He also implemented Project Lifesaver in Jefferson County to aid in the search for persons with special needs and started the Ag Watch Program in late 2014 to assist the agricultural community in the prevention of the loss of livestock and equipment as well in the recovery of property losses.
A popular public official, Hobbs made it a point of making himself visible and accessible in the community, and he practiced an open-door policy toward employees and citizens alike. He liked to say that the role of Sheriff in rural communities was different than that of sheriffs in larger communities, in that the former had to wear multiple hats. Besides being the chief law-enforcement officer, a sheriff in a rural community was often called upon to assist citizens with their personal, medical, financial and other issues, he liked to say. It was a role that Hobbs enjoyed and excelled in, performing it with grace, humor and compassion.
Attorney General Pam Bondi praised Hobbs for his service, commitment and contributions to country, community and the law-enforcement family.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my friend Sheriff Hobbs, a devoted lawman and veteran of the United States Marine Corps,” Bondi said in a statement. “Sheriff Hobbs dedicated his life to serving the community he loved, and Florida is better because of his service. Our prayers remain with Sheriff Hobbs’ family, friends and Florida’s entire law-enforcement community.”
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam likewise expressed praise for Hobbs.
“Sheriff David Hobbs not only selflessly served the Jefferson County community, but he also courageously served all of his fellow Americans,” Putnam said in a statement. “Florida is blessed to have been touched by the light and dedication of such a fine public servant; Sheriff Hobbs will be missed. May God be with his family, loved ones, friends and colleagues during this time of grief.”
Hobbs leaves behind his wife of more than 30 years, Brenda Hobbs, daughter, Brittany Hobbs Bishop, and son-in-law Glen Bishop.
The funeral arrangements for Jefferson County Sheriff David Hobbs are as follows. The visitation will be held 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at Beggs Funeral Home, 485 East Dogwood Street, Monticello, FL. The service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the First Baptist Church, 325 West Washington Street, Monticello, FL. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Florida Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, Post Office Box 2000, Boys Ranch, FL, 32064.