Family physician Tighe Huber dies at 65
NEDERLAND — Marc Huber remembers his kid brother, Tighe, as not just the smartest of the four Huber brothers born and raised in Port Arthur but also as a “force of nature”: a college athlete, businessman, family physician, pilot, sailor and more.
“He was big — 6-foot-3, 230 in college — a dynamo, energetic,” the elder Huber brother, now the sole survivor of four brothers, recalled Monday, the day after Dr. Tighe Huber, 65, died following an extended battle with pancreatic cancer. Tighe was competitive, too: One of four “rowdy boys” born to Edith Button Huber-Logsdon, who led Port Arthur’s convention and visitors’ bureau for many years, and Carl Frederick “Fred” Huber, a local businessman. All the boys played sports and graduated Thomas Jefferson High School.
His brother’s legacy, though, will be as a family physician and family man, Marc Huber said. He and his wife, Carolyn, raised two sons — one a doctor, one a medical student — and a daughter, who owns businesses in Nederland and Beaumont.
Dr. Huber was diagnosed — self-diagnosed, his brother said — in May 2017, and spent most of his remaining time treating patients — he stopped practicing early this year — and tending to family. Cancer ran in the family: Both a grandmother died in her 80s and his older brother, Kyle, died at 38 of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Huber routinely tested for cancer, given his family history.
In the time he had left, he participated in a “white coat” medical school ceremony for son Stefan, and wrote the draft of an autobiography, “Laughter and Life Lessons from a Dying Doctor,” his brother said. At rest at home, he greeted and spent time with family and friends who visited.
For many years, he and Dr. Frank Krotzer shared a clinic behind The Schooner restaurant on the Highway 69 service road in Nederland. The two met as medical residents, became friends and eventually shared work at Mid County Family Clinic. Krotzer, Carolyn Huber said, was “like part of our family.”
Huber played football — he was a lineman — for the Thomas Jefferson Yellow Jackets, starting for one of the school’s premier teams in 1971. Following graduation, he spent more than three years at the University of Texas, where he played, though never started, for the Longhorns during a heyday of the late 1960s and early 1970s under coach Darrell Royal.
Carolyn Huber said her husband returned to Port Arthur without a degree — he had studied biology as a pre-med student — and worked first as a boilermaker and then in the construction business. In 1984, with the economy in a downturn, he returned to college, completing his degree at Lamar University and heading to medical school at Texas-San Antonio.
“He started out thinking he would be an orthopedic surgeon,” he wife recalled. The couple — they met through a shared love of sailing — considered staying in San Antonio, which they loved, as well. Ultimately, he chose family practice because he preferred interaction with patients and the couple chose to return to Port Arthur for the advantages the city would offer a young family, including outdoors activities. He was a family physician for 27 years.
“He would see children, they would grow up, and he would see their children,” his wife, who worked for many years in the practice’s business office, recalled. “When it got out that he was ill, patients were so caring and so loving, it overwhelmed him.”
Her husband was named Tighe because his parents heard the name — it was connected to a TV news reporter — and liked it. Likewise, she and her husband chose their son Stefan’s name partly from connection to family — the version “Stephen” belonged to a brother, and “Stefan” honored their German heritage — and partly from whimsy — they heard the name on TV when Stefan Edberg, a Swede, played world-class tennis.
Survivors include his wife, Carolyn; daughter, Alisha Nicole Dungan and her husband, Clint, of Nederland; sons, Trevor Kyle Huber and his wife, Stefanie, of Frisco and Stefan Huber and his wife, Nicole, of League City; brother, Marc Huber, of Austin; four grandchildren; and mother-in-law and father-in-law, Thelma and Karl Fragstein, of Nederland.
Huber was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Kyle and Chris Huber.
Huber’s family and friends will gather from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 26 at First Baptist Church, 1911 Nederland Ave., Nederland. A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Oct. 27, also at First Baptist Church.
Broussard’s, 505 N. 12th St., Nederland is in charge of arrangements. His family committal was held at Broussard’s Crematorium, Beaumont.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Tighe A. Huber Scholarship in Premedical Studies to be established through Lamar University, P.O. Box 11500, Beaumont, Texas 77710 or online at www.lamar.edu/give. For assistance, call 409-880-2117.