Former Flagstaff Civic and Community leader, Elmer “Hub” Hubbard, Jr. passed away on February 21, 2022, just one month shy of his 94th birthday. Hub was born March 24, 1929, at home on Aspen Avenue in Flagstaff, to Elmer and Myrtis (Mahan) Hubbard, the first of three sons. He attended Flagstaff Public Schools and summered at his grandmother’s homestead ranch in Spring Valley (just north of Parks) where he developed his natural love of nature, his land and all animals.
Hub enlisted in the Army in 1948 and served in Alaska, assigned as the Officer in Charge of the Arctic Valley Ski Facility. The week before his rotation to serve in the lower 48 states, while participating in a ski race in Fairbanks, he crashed into the trees. Fifteen months, two operations and three GI hospitals later he was honorable released from active duty in May 1953. Returning to Arizona, he and Charlotte Webber were married on June 6, 1953. He then enrolled in the University of Arizona obtaining his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Public Administration in 1956. During this time their first two children were born, Patricia and Sandra. Hub continued with the Army Reserve and was a volunteer instructor in the Reserve Officer Training Corp and was promoted to Captain. After completing his degree requirements, he and Charlotte moved back to Flagstaff and was employed by then Standard Oil Company, owned by his father-in-law, Orrin B Webber. Their third child, Paul, was born in 1958. Hub and Charlotte purchased the Standard Oil Distributorship from his father-in-law, later to become Chevron USA, in 1970 and continued that operation until 1984. Hub and Charlotte worked together in the oil business for 30 years, enlarging their territory to serve Holbrook and Prescott. They delivered petroleum products from Crown King all the way to the Utah border, sometimes delivering cases of oil to his satellite bulk plants and nearby ranchers in his private aircraft. In 1990 Hub and Charlotte moved to Tucson to be closer to their grandkids and to “get out of the snow and ice”.
Hub was always involved in his beloved Flagstaff, both civically and volunteering. His civic duties included a 4 year term on the Flagstaff City Council, Serving on the Coconino Country Republican Central Committee, Flagstaff Parks and Recreation Committee, Arizona Justice Planning Agency, Flagstaff Board of Adjustments and Appeals, Coconino County Elections Board, Chairman of Flagstaff Airport Commission for 12 years (where he also served as President), Flagstaff Airport Master Plan Study and Advisory Committee and 4 terms on the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce. One of Hub’s proudest accomplishments was The Flagstaff Ice Rink. He fought tooth and nail with the elders on the City Council, stating the youth of Flagstaff needed a fun place for winter activities, and finally was instrumental in getting it approved and built. Hub tirelessly volunteered for his community, and was Past President of Flagstaff Kiwanis Club, Charter member of Flagstaff Salvation Army, Charter Board member Flagstaff Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Charter member of Pioneer Historical Society of Northern Arizona (served as past Vice President), Chairman of United Fund of Flagstaff for two terms, March of Dimes, Flagstaff League for Good Growth and Certificate Holder of Flagstaff Hospital (later to become Northern Arizona Medical Center). Hub was a part-time Ski instructor for the Arizona Snow Bowl for 30 years and is fondly remembered for picking up any kids waiting on Highway 180 to take them up to the Snow Bowl for a day of skiing. He would pack his station wagon with as many kids and skis as it would hold, and all the parents knew they were in great hands. He also was solely responsible for starting the little ski area on Mars Hill, getting a rope tow installed, and loved teaching anyone who wanted to ski as he truly loved skiing since he was a very young man. Hub continued his love of skiing and became a part time instructor for Mt. Lemmon Ski Area in Tucson until he was 73 years old when his health started to decline. His volunteering continued after he quit teaching skiing, volunteering with Charlotte for over 12 years in the Escort division of the VA Hospital, logging in over 10,000 hours in those years. Hub and Char were often seen holding hands after their deliveries returning to their escort station, as their love for each other was always very obvious.
Hub had many activities, from holding his private pilot’s license, logging over 2,000 hours of flying time, to weekends at Lake Powell with many long-time Flagstaff friends. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, bowling and weekend picnics with his family, instilling the love and respect of the outdoors with his children. Hub spent many evening hours in his home “shop”, building and then later flying radio-controlled airplanes. He was instrumental in getting the first little “runway” created and paved at Koch Field, for the Radio Control Airplane Club.
Hub is survived by the love of his life, wife Charlotte (Webber) of 70 years, daughters Patricia Daley-Mills of Gilbert, Az, Sandra “Sissie” Schrader (Eric) Tucson, Son Paul (Kathleen) of Mesa, grandchildren David James Sorenson (Lena), Don Daley (L’Marie), Elizabeth Schrader, Amy Burke (Jon), great grandchildren John and David, his brothers Paul and David, his loving nephew and nieces, Tobe, Kimberly and Lynn and dear friends all over the world.
A memorial will be planned at a future date. For inquiries, please email: [email protected].