Pensacola mayor dies


Published: Thursday, June 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 1, 2006 at 2:11 a.m.
PENSACOLA - Vince Whibbs Sr., who was Pensacola's longest-serving mayor and was known for his official greeting that the auto dealer delivered in the quick cadence of a television pitchman, has died. He was 86.
Whibbs died Tuesday at Sacred Heart Hospital.
Whibbs greeting went in part: ''It is my privilege and pleasure as mayor to welcome you to Pensacola, the western gate to the Sunshine State, where thousands live the way millions wish they could, where the warmth of our community comes not only from God's good sunshine, but from the hearts of the people who live here.''
He continued to deliver his welcome message at public events in his role as mayor emeritus and remained a community leader after he left office in 1991. He had been mayor for 14 years.
On the morning of his death Whibbs was to make a television appearance to promote the proposed Community Maritime Park, which would include a museum and a stadium for the city's minor league baseball team. He was named chairman of the project just weeks ago.
The World War II Army Air Forces fighter pilot also was a member of the Florida Commission on Veterans Affairs. He chaired a committee that built a World War II memorial in Pensacola in 2002.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he worked for the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors until 1958, when he opened a dealership in Pensacola.
Survivors include his wife, Anna, and seven children.
--- Information from: Pensacola News Journal, http:// WWW.PENSACOLANEWSJOURNAL.COM

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