Larry Teague was a man of diverse accomplishments — a former Jacksonville councilman, owner of a successful plumbing company, champion water-skier, snow skier, woodworker and church trustee. After a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease, Mr. Teague died Monday at his Keystone Heights home. He was 82.


A memorial service was held Thursday, and there will be a private interment of his ashes at a later date.

“He excelled at anything he did,” said Janice Teague, his wife of 29 years.

Mr. Teague served on the City Council from 1971-75, saying that one term was enough.

“Larry wasn’t a professional politician,” said former Mayor Jake Godbold, who served on the council with Mr. Teague. “He was a businessman who volunteered to run, and he fulfilled his duties well. He was a very honorable person and a free thinker who wasn’t swayed by a lot of lobbyists.”

Godbold said that Mr. Teague had a good business brain, knew the problems of small businesses and supported streamlining the permitting process.

Mr. Teague was born in Jacksonville in 1932 and graduated from Landon High School in 1950. He worked for several plumbing companies before starting his own business, Larry Teague & Sons Plumbing, in the 1950s.

“He would get there early in the morning and do whatever it took,” his wife said, adding that he had an outstanding work ethic.

Mr. Teague started water-skiing with friends after high school and quickly mastered slalom skiing (one ski). But he didn’t have time for the sport after the births of his five children and the growth of his company, as well as a sideline recreational vehicle business, his wife said. In 1975, he was installed as president of the Associated Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors of Florida.

After a heart attack in 1983, he sold his company. Mr. Teague, who had been living in Keystone Heights, resumed slalom skiing and won a number of trophies and medals in his age category, including a national championship in 1996. He also served as a senior judge in the Southern Region and was willing to help anyone who wanted coaching tips or help setting up their skis, she said.

Their neighbors enjoyed watching Mr. Teague and several friends skiing at 6 a.m., to escape the crowds, on the regulation course that a professional set up at his home on Lily Lake, his wife said. He had to give up his beloved sport at age 80, after a hip and two shoulder replacements.

Mr. Teague was very active at his church, Keystone United Methodist, and oversaw the building of its multi-ministry center. To protect the materials, he even spent several nights there in his travel trailer, his wife said.

He was noted for his sense of humor and loved to make people laugh, she said. That was sometimes reflected in his woodworking hobby. As gifts for friends, he made toilet paper holders with feet on them and walking sticks with a bike horn at the top, a rearview mirror and a foot at the bottom. If for a woman, it had painted toenails.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Teague is survived by two sons, Donnie and Mike; two daughters, Terry Calvert and Sherry Segars; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren and four stepsons, Darrell, David, Dennis and Dean Heying, all of Jacksonville. He was predeceased by daughter Debbi Lyons in 2005.


Sandy Strickland: (904) 359-4128