Sunday, December 17, 2017
News Roundup

Joseph House, decorated veteran and civic leader, dies at 85

TAMPA — Joseph W. House was a decorated veteran, past chairman of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and former member of the University of Tampa board of trustees.

And for one year, he was Batman.

It was the early 1990s, remembers his wife, Susan House, and the two of them were the first married couple to jointly chair the annual fundraising drive for the local chapter of the United Way.

"At our first luncheon he shows up dressed as Batman," she said. "He said he saw a Bat-Signal that the United Way needed his help."

At almost every local United Way fundraising event that year, he donned the Batman costume. They raised $10 million, said his wife, 80.

Mr. House died on Friday, June 2 after a lengthy illness. He was 85.

"He was a super person in every way," his wife said. "He didn't need a costume."

As general manager for the United Services Automobile Association's southeast regional office in Tampa, Mr. House would send personalized birthday cards to all of his employees.

"If we were traveling, he carried a stack of cards with him," Susan House said.

And there was the time that he met King Hussein of Jordan while leading U.S. military exercises in that Middle Eastern country.

"In his very Southern manner, he invited the king to visit him at Fort Bragg," his wife said. "A while later, he got a call from the State Department wondering who he was and why the king was coming to see him."

The native of Birmingham, Ala., was born on Halloween in 1931. He began his military career shortly after graduating from West Point in 1957.

Mr. House would go on to serve in Vietnam on a one-year tour of duty that included time as an adviser with the 42nd Vietnamese Rangers operating out of the Bac Lieu Sector.

It was after retiring from the Army in 1984 as a colonel that Mr. House made his way to Tampa.

He quickly became immersed in the civic community, his wife said. He supported Metropolitan Ministries and the Alpha House, among other charities.

In 2009, he received the Tampa Bay Ethics Award from the University of Tampa.

"Joe was a model for our students to emulate, and we are humbled to have shared in his leadership and a special friendship," UT president Ron Vaughn said in a statement.

Most of all, Susan House hopes her husband is remembered for his colorful personality.

She recalled the time he was asked to testify on behalf of the business community in front of the Hillsborough County Commission about the importance of building Legends Field, now called George M. Steinbrenner Field.

"With his Army helmet in hand, he stood up and said, 'I never go into battle without a helmet,' " she said. "Then he made his plea. That's who he was."

Contact Paul Guzzo at [email protected] Follow @PGuzzoTimes.

Comments
Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Warren Sapp pointed to the sky. And then he dropped Kurt Warner to the ground.The Bucs had just intercepted Warner for the fourth time. Sapp’s block cleared the way for Derrick Brooks to cross the goal line and clinch the win.Before Tampa Bay p...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida mayor resigns after arrest for using dead peoples’ disabled parking permits

Florida mayor resigns after arrest for using dead peoples’ disabled parking permits

DAVENPORT, Fla. (AP) — The mayor of a small Florida town arrested for using dead peoples’ disabled parking permits to park at city hall has resigned.The Bradenton Herald reports that Teresa Bradley resigned and was given six-months of probation as pa...
Updated: 9 minutes ago

Crash closes Lutz Lake Fern Road at Cypress Green Drive

LUTZ — Lutz Lake Fern Road is closed in both directions at Cypress Green Drive after a crash Sunday morning, deputies reported.The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash, said HCSO spokesman Danny Alvarez.Stay with tampabay.c...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Woman, 24, hit by Land Rover, in critical condition

LARGO — A 24-year-old woman is in critical condition after she was struck by a vehicle Saturday night, police said.Khadijah Wood was walking through the parking lot of the Sandy Lane Apartment Homes on Belcher Road about 7:30 p.m.At the same time, Ju...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Warm, sunny Sunday in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — It’s another bright, sunny day in Tampa Bay. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay areaHigh temperatures should reach about 80 d...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Murder suspect is on the run after fatally shooting a father, cops say

Murder suspect is on the run after fatally shooting a father, cops say

A first-degree murder suspect remains at large almost a week after the fatal shooting of a Winter Haven father.The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says Johnny Ray Owsley’s murder of 35-year-old Adam Thrower, called "Cook" by friends, involved Owsley’s e...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

DENVER — The Lightning left for Las Vegas Saturday for the first of four nights in Sin City.But Tampa Bay’s first regret came before it boarded the charter flight; the Lighting lamented making Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Avalanche much more thrilling...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David out for Monday’s game vs. Falcons

TAMPA — As if containing All-Pro Julio Jones and the Falcons offense isn’t challenging enough, the Bucs will try to do so Monday night without perhaps their top defensive players, tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David.On Saturday, Bucs coa...
Published: 12/16/17
Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

WASHINGTON — Closing in on the first major legislative achievement of his term, President Donald Trump on Saturday defended the Republican tax cut as a good deal for the middle class while boldly suggesting it could lead to explosive economic growth....
Published: 12/16/17
Aquarium reopens to divers

Aquarium reopens to divers

Florida Keys News BureauVisitors to Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters dive with among indigenous Keys fish Friday in Marathon. The attraction reopened Friday after closing just before Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys on Sept. 10. Although tourism f...
Published: 12/16/17