James E. "Jimmy" Brock was born on June 10, 1922, in Benton, Tenn., to Cora and Clifford Brock. He grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn. He had two sisters, Tiny, Lorinne and a brother, Ralph. In his youth he was a weight lifter and was runner-up to the champion of Chattanooga at the Frye Institute.At age 17 he joined the Navy and served as a chief petty officer for 10 years. He met his wife Peggy in Jacksonville, Fla.; they married and lived in St. Augustine where they spent their entire lives.
After military service he went to work for Mr. Faw and managed the Bennet Hotel. Following this Jimmy became the manager of the Monson Motor Lodge with his wife Peggy working along side him. They had two children, Robyn and Bonnie. In 1960 Jimmy renovated the Monson and turned it into a motor lodge.
In 1954, Jimmy organized a group of hoteliers and created one of Florida's leading workers compensation providers, now called FHM Insurance Company. Jimmy served on the board since its founding and is the past president of the Florida Hotel-Motel Association. In 1987 his colleagues honored him as Florida's Hotelier of the Year.
In 1957 he led the effort in forming the Community Chest-United Fund, which later became known as the United Way. He was a Mason for more than 60 years and a member of Ashlar Lodge No. 98 F&AM, the Scottish and York Rite bodies, Morocco Temple and past president of the St. Augustine Shrine Club. He was past director and treasurer of the Royal Order of Jesters.
Jimmy was a former charter member of the Independent Luncheon Club and for over 54 years a member of the Saint Augustine Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of the Ancient City Baptist Church for over 55 years and was a deacon and director of training union.
When his children were growing up he would take them back to Benton, Tenn., every summer to visit the relatives. Four years ago he built a log home in Benton to enjoy the time in the mountains, something that he loved to do. He also had property on Stratton road that was called Happy Aces. This farm has been the home to many animals including pigs, chickens, horses, donkeys, and rabbits, as well as family members and employees.
He was always the life of the party and never knew a stranger.
Surviving Jimmy are his daughters, Robyn Brock and Bonnie Brock; two sisters Tiny Theodore and Lorinne Lynn; and four grandchildren, Jennifer (Bill) Cushion, Eric and Maxx Perini and Maurice Murray and his special friend Virginia Masters, all of Saint Augustine.
He was predeceased by his wife, Peggy, his parents and his brother, Ralph. There will be a visitation at Craig Funeral Home, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007, from 4-7 p.m. Funeral service will take place on Monday, Sept. 17, 2007 at 11 a.m. at the Ancient City Baptist Church, the Rev. Dr. David Rice, officiating. Burial at Evergreen Cemetery, with Masonic Rites conducted by Ashlar Lodge 98 F&AM.
Flowers or donations are accepted to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607 or Community Hospice of North East Florida, 4114 Sunbeam Road, Suite 101, Jacksonville, FL 32257
Craig Funeral Home, Crematory and Memorial Park are handling the arrangements. Online at www.craigfuneralhome.com