Hall played vital role in sight conservation

Published 9:34 pm Wednesday, December 3, 2014

In his 94 years, Opp’s Tubby Hall has made his mark on many people in Covington County and throughout the state.

Hall, who was active in the Lions Club for decades, was also part of the Alabama Lions Sight Conservation Program since the early 70s.

Hall, who is now legally blind, due to macular degeneration, said this week that what he did was all about service.

“To give the Biblical answer, ‘whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters, you are doing it for me,’” he said. “Lions Club is truly about service.”

Hall still serves as a director emeritus of the endowment.

Hall said Lions of the state helped raise funds for what is now the Callahan Eye Hospital at UAB.

“The Lions Club did everything free,” he said. “Now eye banks include some fees.”

Hall said the Alabama Lions Sight program was declared the Lions No.1 project then.

When Hall served as chairman of the eye bank, he was able to increase eye transplants from 50 to 500 in a year’s time, and keep the cornea specialist in place.

“We had a successful eye bank for many years,” he said. “When the doctor first came here the success rate was 60 to 70 percent. A few years later it was in the high 90s.”

Hall graduated from the University of Alabama in 1948 with a degree in education was hired as head baseball coach and assistant football and basketball coach at Opp High School. He also ran the local swimming pool in the summers.

He quit coaching in 1953 and joined Henry Morgan in the tire business in Opp, where they developed a chain of two dozen Auto-Sav stores in the southeast over the next three decades.

Though he gave up coaching high school ball, Hall helped organize Little League baseball in Opp in 1953 and coached youth teams for 44 years before his eyesight forced him to retire.

“God has been good to me,” he said. “I gave up my keys seven or eight years ago.”

Hall said he’s not completely blind.

“I can count the fingers on my hand, but I can’t see your face,” he said.

Hall is also a World War II veteran, having commanded a truck company supporting Gen. George Patton’s Third Army. He also served in the Army during Korea.