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By Stephanie Hayes, Times Staff Writer
Published February 10, 2008
ST. PETERSBURG - Andy Hines knew Ann Groover about three months before he asked her to marry him.
They met on a blind date. She was gregarious and he was quiet, but they had much in common. Both grew up during the Depression. Both were Christians. Both wanted four children.
Back then, people didn't put off marriage like they do today.
"I knew what I wanted," he said. "And there she was."
In the next 60 years, their lives would change. He would rise from college kid to chairman of Florida Power, now Progress Energy Florida. He would become a noted supporter of civic causes. A big local name.
They would have those four children. She would become active in the community, teaching Sunday school, mentoring young women, even going to Uganda to help inoculate children against measles.
He would travel for work, but call home every night to make sure everything was fine, knowing that, with his wife at the helm, everything would be.
Then, one day, the roles would change.
Mrs. Hines was a supreme caretaker. She was a natural leader - organized, energetic.
"Mom was very egalitarian in that she raised all of us with duties and responsibility and obligation," said her son, Hampton Hines III, 58. "We all learned to take turns mopping, vacuuming, sweeping, ironing dad's white shirts."
She took the children on picnics at Fort De Soto Park. She entertained her husband's influential associates, but also church members who didn't have family or young women who needed help learning the ropes of motherhood.
Even when Mr. Hines argued with his wife, he defended her. If one of the children dared say a cross word about her, he'd step in: "Don't you ever say anything bad about your mother. She's a fine woman."
She taught him to be outgoing and joke with people, he said. She let him succeed.
In 1999, she showed the first signs of progressive supranuclear palsy, a devastating degenerative disorder. Her mind stayed sharp as her body began to quit. For the past two years, she needed full care.
Her husband found himself in a new role - nurturer. He stopped traveling so much. Mr. Hines, 85, learned to buy his own dress shirts and handle the minutia she always managed.
When she could still speak, they'd sing together. When she couldn't, he'd sing to her. You'll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away.
On Feb. 3, she died. She was 83. He's emphatic about his dedication. She took care of him all those years. Of course he would return the favor.
Ann Groover Hines
Born: Oct. 16, 1924.
Died: Feb. 3, 2008.
Survivors: husband, Andrew H. Hines Jr.; children, A. Hampton Hines III and wife Shelly, Elizabeth Renee Dale and husband Dave, J. Bradford Hines and wife Holly, Daniel Howland Hines and wife Karen; grandchildren, Becky, Mindy, Linda, Drew, Kara, Kate, Ann, Brad, Janice, Courtland, Will, James, Mary and Hampton, who is due in May; brothers, Charles Groover, Danny Groover and wife Rosie, Jimmy Groover and wife Shirley; sisters-in-law, Francis Kolner and husband Jim, Jane Hines; aunt, Net Jones.
[Last modified February 9, 2008, 23:45:10]