Rupert Neis Koblegard III
Fort Pierce, Florida
Rupert Neis Koblegard III of Fort Pierce, FL passed away on November 30, 2022 surrounded by his wife, five loving daughters and many of his grandchildren. He was 81 years old.
Rupert “Koby” was born on August 20, 1941 in Fort Pierce to Mary Laura Sample and Rupert Neis Koblegard, Jr.
At the age of 14, while working as an usher at his grandfather’s theatre, the Sunrise, in historic downtown Fort Pierce, he met the love of his life, Barbara Charlene Wilson. They were introduced by Charlene’s close friend, Kay Warren. Shortly after, they had their first date at a Dan McCarty High School basketball game. Charlene still remembers the red plaid shirt he was wearing that night as it brought out the blue in his eyes.
He graduated from Dan McCarty High School in 1959. While there, he served on various committees including the Pep Club, Key Club, Prom Committee and was on the Swim Team for all four years. He was President of his freshman class and Vice President of his sophomore class. His senior yearbook quote summed up his wild spirit well - “It’s not what I do that worries me; It’s when I get caught that there is difficulty.”
In the fall of 1959, Koby began his freshman year at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He pledged and was initiated into the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. During his sophomore year, Koby’s mother passed away from cancer. Devastated by the news, Koby and a college buddy dropped out of school and headed west. Koby worked as a waiter at the Desert Inn Casino in Las Vegas for some time, serving celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. It didn’t take long for Koby’s father, “Rupoo,” to track him down by way of a private investigator, and Koby returned to Florida.
Continuing with his wild spirit, Koby and Charlene eloped and drove from Gainesville to a small town in Georgia and were wed by a judge on September 29, 1962. Koby returned to Gainesville and Charlene returned to Fort Pierce. They chose to keep their wedding a secret to not detract attention from Koby’s older sister’s wedding just a few weeks later. After the holidays, Koby shared the news with his father and an official home wedding was planned for the following day.
Koby and Charlene settled into a small home in Gainesville while Koby finished school. In 1963, their first daughter, Mary Melissa, was born. He graduated in 1965 with a double major in Agriculture and Economics and entered law school shortly after. Laura Ellen was born in 1966. Those early years of marriage were filled with trips to the park with his girls, Gator football games and spending time with their neighbors. Koby was known to miss class often to pursue his outdoor hobbies of hunting and fishing around Gainesville. In 1968, Koby graduated from Law School at the University of Florida and was admitted to the Florida Bar Association on June 10 of that year.
That summer, he and Charlene moved the family to Tallahassee where Koby would clerk for Alto Lee Adams, Sr., Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. They returned to Fort Pierce and Koby joined Rupert Smith in law practice. In 1969 he also served part-time in the 19th Judicial Circuit both as an Assistant Public Defender and an Assistant State Attorney. He later joined the practice of Sumner & Bryan. In 1975, he settled into the law firm of Frank “Speedy” Fee and his father, Frank, Sr. In 1995, he began work as general counsel for the Fort Pierce Utilities Authority and handled its legal work until his death. He was fortunate to have Susan Burban as his legal assistant during the bulk of his private practice. Koby served as President of the St. Lucie County Bar Association.
In 1971, they moved into their family home on South Indian River Drive where they would live for the next 50 years. Kristen Neis, Sara Brady and Wendell Allison were born shortly after. Those years were filled with the most magical of memories, including annual summer and spring break trips to the Bahamas aboard the “CharLaMar” and the “Seventh Lady.” The family enjoyed snow skiing in Colorado and countless trips to Gainesville to cheer for his beloved Gators. Koby and Charlene were members of the Pelican Yacht Club and Koby was an active member of Ducks Unlimited and the University of Florida Alumni Association.
In 1979, Koby purchased his first ranch, Wolf Hammock, in Fort Drum, Florida. He would go on to spend years working there, raising Braford cattle, building fences, studying birds and trees and being out in the wild where he was always most at home. Alto “Bud” Adams, Jr. was a mentor to Koby and the reason he chose to raise Braford cattle. He delivered many calves at Wolf Hammock, a few times having to use a rope and the bumper of his truck to assist with delivery when the mother was in distress. Those calves were taken to his home on the river where he and his daughters would bottle feed the calves until they were strong enough to return to the ranch. His remarkable love for the land and the animals found there was astounding. These years were filled with many hunting trips to Canada for geese, Louisiana for ducks and countless trips to the Bahamas. There was one trip home from Canada worth noting when Koby had to purchase an extra plane ticket to bring his prize goose home because of its size.
In 2004, Koby found a plot of land just outside of Madison, Florida in the small town of Greenville. Koby and Alto “Bud” Adams, Jr. had looked at several properties in the area, but Koby immediately fell in love with the place and had to hide his excitement from the realtor. They purchased the land and divided it to allow for separate cattle operations. High, dry, and beautiful, with a clearwater lake, ample groundwater resources, rolling topography, it became a second home. While intended as a cattle ranch, the property also became a family retreat. Early on, they built a cottage and planted flower and vegetable gardens. As the family grew, the cottage was enlarged and became the site of numerous Labor Day and Thanksgiving celebrations. This beloved piece of property was Koby’s ultimate escape and he and Charlene would spend weeks at a time there, continuing to raise cattle, hunt for wildlife and take airboat rides around the 115-acre lake. The week of Thanksgiving was Koby’s favorite week of the year and would culminate with watching the Florida/Florida State football game together. Grown children and grandchildren would know and love Sampala Lake Farm for close to two decades. In 2018, Koby applied for a Conservation Easement to protect a piece of Florida history, and to safeguard its nature from future development. It was an end of an era, but the family is still able to visit the land today.
He closed his private practice in February 2022 and became a full-time grandfather, attending soccer, flag football and tennis matches of his grandchildren, building bird feeders, tinkering in his garage and placing daily Amazon orders. He enjoyed playing Wordle each morning with his daughters and grandchildren. One of his most beloved recent hobbies was feeding the ducks with his grandchildren every evening at his new home on a lake in Jensen Beach.
Koby was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his loving wife, Charlene; his daughters Mary Melissa (Tom) Kindred, Laura Ellen Koblegard, Kristen Neis (Steve) Cheyne, Sara Brady (Colin) Lloyd and Wendell Allison (Jerome) Young; his sisters Mary Ann (Buck) Bryan, Wendell May (Lavon) Bishop and Laura Lee (Ralph) Hayes; and his twelve grandchildren, Mary Sloan and Rue Lane Kindred; John Rupert and Ellen McCoy Reilly; Julia Connell and Robert Koblegard “Koby” Cheyne; Sally Jane, Mary Caroline and Walter Wilson Lloyd; Tilloo McGinnis, Scarlett Sample “Scout” and William Koblegard “Billy” Young.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, December 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Indian River Presbyterian Church in Fort Pierce.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Audubon Society and Treasure Coast Hospice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Haisley Funeral Home, Fort Pierce. An online guest book may be signed at