(Photo: Special to the Democrat)
Broward Taff Jr., an ex-banker and insurance agent turned attorney known for his involvement with Springtime Tallahassee, died in his sleep Tuesday, a few days after participating in the 50th running of the annual event. He was going to turn 75 next week.
Less than a week earlier, Taff was extolling the virtues of Springtime Tallahassee.
"The side of Tallahassee we try to show is relationships and getting together and getting people together," Taff told the Tallahassee Democrat. "It does give us an opportunity to show off Tallahassee a little bit. Tallahassee is a wonderful place."
Taff joined Springtime Tallahassee in the 1960s. He and his wife Barbara were longtime members of Springtime Tallahassee’s War and Reconstruction Krewe where Broward served as float chairman and as krewe chief. He served as Andrew Jackson in both 1995 and 1996, as president of Springtime in 2001-2002 and on its board of directors for several years. His daughter, Kristin, was chosen as Miss Springtime and so was Anna, one of his granddaughters.
Although he had several successful careers, Taff found time for Springtime Tallahassee matters beyond the revelry. Taff presided when there were talks of moving the whole Springtime to the North Florida Fairgrounds. He was there when a federal judge got involved with barring the Sons of Confederate Veterans from handing out literature along the parade route.
Retired state attorney Willie Meggs has been a lifelong friend of Taff’s. They both graduated from Leon High in 1961. Meggs recalls he lent Taff his horse, Thunder, to ride in the Springtime Tallahassee Parade. Afterward, Taff sent Thunder a plaque.
"He was a great guy," said Meggs, who added that Taff’s many talents included being an authority on penmanship. "We used him as a handwriting expert in court. He was an extremely talented person."
Taff attended the University of Florida for architecture, took coursework in psychology from the University of Miami, and majored in accounting and finance at Florida State University — graduating with the Class of 1968. Two years later, he passed the CPA exam on the first try.
Early in his career, Taff held an insurance license while at Lewis State Bank, where he rose to become vice president. He later served as president of Marine State Bank for a decade.
Taff also worked in real estate. He became broker-owner of both ReMax Realty and Shell Point Realty. In his 40s, Taff returned to FSU and earned his law degree in 1992. Barbara Smith of Orlando was a classmate. Like Taff, she was an older student – 36 at the time. Smith recalled that Taff fit right in with the 20-something-year-old law students.
Broward Taff Jr (Photo: Special to the Democrat)
"He had more talent than one person should have," Smith said.
Taff seemed to be good at everything – academics, art – but he also stood out for other reasons, she said.
"He was always putting people first. He was kind. You met him and you were instant friends," said Smith, a clerk for a federal judge in Orlando. "He was important to everyone at the school. He was so curious about life."
Taff later opened a successful law practice, providing pro-bono work for many people, his son Angus "Bo" recalled.
Taff is survived by his wife Barbara; son, Angus Broward “Bo” III of Tallahassee; daughter Barbara Kristin Taff of Miami; four granddaughters; and a brother, Steven Gregory of Tallahassee.
The family will receive friends from 5 p.m to 7 p.m. Saturday at Bevis Funeral Home, 200 John Knox Road. Funeral services will be 3 p.m. Sunday at Celebration Baptist Church. Memorial contributions may be made to Shriners Hospital for Children, Tampa, 12502 USF Pine Drive, Tampa, Fl, 33612.