TEMPLE TERRACE — A popular former Bible studies professor at Florida College collapsed on a tennis court this past week and died of an apparent heart attack.
Marty Pickup, who grew up in Temple Terrace and taught at Florida College for 16 years, was 53.
"This was just totally unexpected. That's the hard part,'' said Kenny Moorer, the college's athletic director, who attended Florida College in Temple Terrace with Mr. Pickup in the 1970s and called him his best friend.
"He had a good sense of humor. He was very kind-hearted. He cared for a lot of people,'' said Moorer.
Mr. Pickup, who lived in Plant City, was playing tennis at Temple Terrace's Family Recreation Complex when he collapsed about 11:15 a.m. Tuesday. Recreation center employees performed CPR and used a defibrillator in an effort to revive him. Temple Terrace firefighters continued resuscitation efforts as he was transferred to Florida Hospital Tampa, where he died, according to a city news release.
He had recently had a physical exam and there was no indication that he had heart problems, Moorer said.
Mr. Pickup was a full-time professor of Bible studies at Florida College in Temple Terrace from 1988 to 2004. He continued serving as an adjunct professor at the college and served as an elder at Valrico Church of Christ, where he preached. His father and grandfather also taught at Florida College.
Moorer said Mr. Pickup — "an intellectual, an academic'' — had a real talent for teaching.
"He had the ability to make difficult things very simple.''