Andrew “Andy” Hines Jr., longtime chief executive of the former Florida Power Corp., died Sunday.
He was 98.
Hines, who was considered one of the visionaries that shaped the development of downtown St. Petersburg, served 17 years as chief executive of the power company that would become Progress Energy before it was acquired by Duke Energy.
Hines was warm and genuinely interested in others, his family said.
“He saw dignity in everyone,” Andrew Hampton Hines III, 71, his eldest son, said.
Raised during the Great Depression, Hines joined the U.S. Army Air Forces and became a navigator on a B-17 bomber in World War II. His plane was shot down over Austria, where he was captured and held in a prisoner of war camp for more than seven months. He retired with the rank of Major.
He joined Florida Power in 1951 as an assistant production engineer.
“I learned early in life that nothing is really free,” he told the University of Florida in 2007. “If you want something, you have to work for it.”
Hines worked his way up to the company’s top spot at 49 years old in 1973. A post about his death in a retiree group for the company drew more than 230 comments, “every one positive about dad,” said Brad Hines, his second-oldest son.
“The employees had genuine affection for him, and he had genuine affection for them,” he said.
Hines had a hand in establishing the St. Petersburg Downtown Development Corp., developing the brick buildings south of Priatek Plaza and what was formerly known as the Bank of America building, moving the energy company into a nearby space. The Hines Energy Complex near Bartow is named for him.
Outside of work, his Christian faith was particularly important to him. One of the things he was most proud of in life was being a Sunday school teacher for more than 50 years, his eldest son said.
An avid boater, Hines would take his family on boating trips to the Bahamas and Mexico. He and his wife of 60 years, Ann Groover Hines, often took out a 32-foot boat they could crew together.
Hines was particularly well-read. When Brad Hines, 64, enrolled in law school, his father sent him off with a quote from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, encouraging him to work diligently for success. His son thought of the quote often when studying late into the night.
He also wrote poetry. Hines’ poems focused on war, family, boating and observations on people and government. He eventually published a book of them titled Time and the Kite.
Andrew H. Hines Jr.
Born: Jan. 28, 1923
Died: Feb. 21, 2021
Survivors: wife, Evelyn Kuttler; adult children Andrew Hampton Hines, III; Elizabeth Renee Dale; John Bradford Hines; Daniel Howland Hines; 14 grandchildren; one great grandchild and numerous nieces and nephews.