John J. Kabboord, Sr.
Cocoa Beach, FL
John J. Kabboord, Sr., passed away, on Sunday, July 20, 2014, at the age of 92. He was one of Cocoa Beach's true pioneers. John was born and grew up in Michigan, until World War II. At the age of 18, in order to support his mother, two sisters and brother, he joined the U.S. Army and became a member of the Parachute Infantry, Airborne Division. This division was one of the most elite fighting forces at that time. These paratroopers's were by far the highest paid soldiers in the army, and undertook some of the most dangerous missions. He earned, and was awarded, the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his valor.
After the war (in 1953), he moved his wife and two small children came to Brevard County. He started selling used cars to make ends meet, but was fascinated with the value and beauty of waterfront real estate. Soon thereafter, he established and opened Cocoa Beach's first real estate office, 'Ocean Realty'.
As time went on, he took the money generated from his office (which was not needed to support his family), and invested it in real estate. For over 60 years he bought, and seldom sold, his real estate. He possessed a profound business mind and vision. He recognized the uniqueness of waterfront properties and passed his investment principals on to his four sons and grandchildren. His real estate office continues to operate under the direction of his children and grandchildren.
Also, during the 50's, he quickly realized that Cocoa Beach needed a bank, thus he was instrumental in forming Cocoa Beach's first bank named 'Cocoa Beach State Bank', and later, a second, known as 'Cape Canaveral Federal Savings and Loan'. But most importantly, he was an enormously loving father and husband. As a father in the early years, he made countless sacrifices for his family. Having lived through the Great Depression and never knowing where the next meal would come from, his purpose in life evolved as a "provider". He always put family, and their welfare, before himself.
John was predeceased by his loving wife, Irene T. Kabboord of 65 years. He always had an eye for beauty, and Irene was one very beautiful lady. She was the perfect wife and mother, and together they raised their four sons.
As the Lord blessed him with abundance, he too gave back. He donated almost $2 million to allow the county to purchase the oceanfront land, now known as Sheppard Park, (located at the east end of 520 in Cocoa Beach), and to allow the county, through a state program, to purchase 465 acres of land adjacent to The Savannahs Golf Course in Merritt Island ("Kabboord Wildlife Sanctuary") and lastly, he donated to the Boy Scouts of America, 74 acres along the Grand Lake O'The Cherokees, for a campsite known as Camp Cherokee, located in Gove, OK.
If we are to measure the value of our life, and the impact we have had on others, he would receive the highest score there was. John was a private person, not a member of a lot of clubs, boards, or organizations, but instead was a tremendous teacher, provider, husband and father.
He was also predeceased by his sister, Kathryn Kabboord, and brother, William Kabboord. He is survived by his sister, Nancy Kabboord; his four sons, Mark, David (Ali), John (Nora), and Bill (Virginia), and grandchildren, John J. Kabboord, III, Elly Kabboord, Rachel Kabboord, Lilly Kabboord, and Brent Kabboord, and great-granddaughter, Ava Irene Kabboord. A very special thanks to Gena Harrison, Lovetta Campbell, and Carrie Disney, who provided such loving care during his final chapter.
John was laid to rest by his family in a private service. Donations may be made, in his memory, to Our Saviour's Catholic School. You may sign John's guestbook at www.beckman-williamson.com.
Beckman Williamson Funeral Home
101 North Brevard Avenue Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Published in FLORIDA TODAY from July 27 to July 29, 2014