A fixture of Treasure Island has new home
By KATHY SAUNDERS
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 15, 2000
TREASURE ISLAND -- The city's best-known resident has moved away. Walter Stubbs, an elected official for so long that his business card says "mayor emeritus," moved to an unincorporated area of Pinellas County near Largo last week.
"It's kind of bittersweet," Stubbs said Tuesday while unpacking boxes in his new home in the Collins Estates subdivision off Oakhurst Road.
"I have very fond memories of Treasure Island, but it's time to start anew," the 85-year-old former mayor said.
Stubbs, who moved to Treasure Island in 1956, served the city as mayor for 20 years and was a commissioner before that.
After making a few repairs, Stubbs plans to sell his home on the Isle of Capri, where he had lived since 1981.
The upkeep on the waterfront home was just getting to be too much, said Stubbs' wife, Nancy.
"He was just working himself to death," she said. "We don't have a boat anymore and we want to travel."
"With the hurricanes and the water, it's just time to stop worrying about that," added the former mayor.
The Stubbses are about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. The couple married last November at the Treasure Island Community Center.
Stubbs said the house on the Isle of Capri, which he bought with his late wife, Wanda, holds a lot of memories.
Nancy Stubbs said she never really unpacked after moving into the house last year.
"Now, we're unpacking and moving things like newlyweds," Walter Stubbs said.
The new house is not on the water, "but it has a spillover pool so I can still hear the water running," he said.
Stubbs was running for re-election in 1997 when he suffered a heart attack and underwent bypass surgery, forcing him to drop out of the race. Since that time, he has continued to attend City Commission meetings and offer his opinions freely.
Mayor Leon Atkinson gave Stubbs the title of "mayor emeritus" and had the city print business cards for the former mayor. Stubbs has since outpaced Atkinson for handing out cards to residents.
For the past three years, Stubbs has continued to recite A Visit from St. Nicholas to the island's children at the city's annual tree lighting ceremony on the day after Thanksgiving.
Stubbs said he would like to read that story again this year -- even though he lives elsewhere.
"It's only about 15 minutes away," he said.
Said Atkinson: "I don't think I would have any problem with him doing it."
Stubbs said he will miss the people of Treasure Island the most. Asked if he plans to become active in his new community, Stubbs said, "I've already reprinted my resume."
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