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Herbert Paul Douglas III: A legacy of love, laughter, and equality

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Herbert Paul Douglas III, 78, of Brooksville, Florida passed away on October 16, 2022.

Herbert Paul Douglas was a Pittsburg native born to Olympian Herbert Paul Douglas Jr. and Jeanne Walton Douglas, along with his sister, Joy Ralston.

Paul Douglas attended college at Tuskegee University in Alabama where he met his wife, Susan. Both were civil rights activists from the early days of the movement, personally experiencing the racial violence and tension of the 50s and 60s. Paul Douglas even participated in the march from Selma to Montgomery with Martin Luther King Jr. and grew up among well-known heroes like Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens, who was his mentor.

Paul Douglas was active for more than 60 years in the struggle for equality and was dedicated to the civil rights movement, exemplifying the inherent rights of all people. He was and still is an inspiration to many.

Paul Douglas served in many roles throughout his life both personally and professionally. He dedicated much of his work to serving the local community.  For example, he was both a member and co-founder of the Pristine Spring Hill Baptist Church and was also the immediate past-President of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Hernando County Branch. Paul was also very involved with the local school system, where he served as Vice Chairman of the B.E.S.T. Academy in Brooksville.

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Douglas served as a member on the board of directors for Bayfront Health in Spring Hill and was once a pilot and as well as the Chief Operating Officer with Accipiter Worldwide, LLC – Aviation Management Services.

Paul Douglas’ greatest roles were those he carried out in his personal life. He was a mentor, friend, and father figure to nearly everyone he encountered. At his memorial on Saturday, November 5th at Antioch Fellowship Baptist Church in Spring Hill, there was a unanimous consensus: Paul Douglas was a hardworking and genuine individual. He lit up a room, had a presence that was unavoidable, and he spoke truthfully.

In attendance at the memorial were many family members, friends, community leaders, school board members, Sheriff Nienhuis and colleagues, church members, the Hernando Democratic Executive Committee, NAACP members, and many more.

Paul Douglas worked tirelessly throughout his life for equality amongst all races and the diverse attendees reflected it. The two-hour service was filled with prayer, song, and shared memories that brought plenty of tears as well as laughter – all of which were evidence of the tremendous impact one person had on so many lives.

Paul Douglas is survived by his wife Susan, his father Herbert Douglas Jr., children Tracy and Christopher, 3 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, and a host of family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their healing during this difficult time.


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