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Marty Pickup, former Florida College instructor, dies

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Published:   |   Updated: April 2, 2013 at 11:47 AM
TEMPLE TERRACE -

Marty Pickup, a longtime Bible studies instructor at Florida College, died suddenly last week. He was 53.

In recent years, Pickup dedicated himself full-time to serving as the minister, an elder and evangelist at the Valrico Church of Christ, said his father, Harry Pickup Jr.

“He was a preacher all of his life as I have been,” Harry Pickup Sr. said of Marty, who was the youngest of his four sons.

Pickup collapsed on March 26 while playing tennis at the Temple Terrace Family Recreation Complex on Whiteway Drive, officials said. Attempts to resuscitate Pickup were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at Florida Hospital Tampa.

His death jolted the Pickup family and faculty and administrators at Florida College, a small Christian institution on North Glen Arven Avenue sandwiched between the Temple Terrace Golf Course and the Hillsborough River.

A Temple Terrace native, Pickup earned an associate of arts degree from Florida College in 1980 and a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from the University of South Florida in 1982, where he graduate cum laude, Florida College spokesman Ralph Walker said. He earned a master’s degree from Central Baptist Theological Seminary in 1988.

Pickup returned to Florida College in 1988 and taught Bible studies there until 2004. Pickup, who received honors in 1991, 1995 and 2000 as the top-rated lecturing professor at Florida College, also taught Greek, Walker said.

Pickup continued on as a part-time instructor for a couple more years. Harry Pickup Jr. described his son as a prolific writer who also taught classes at the University of South Florida on occasions.

The Pickup family has had a relationship with Florida College since the 1950s. Four generations of Pickups have worked and studied there.

Pickup’s father and grandfather, Harry Pickup Sr., both served as the director of public relations for the school. Pickup’s mother, Joella, was a longtime music instructor there. Pickup and his siblings attended the school, as did their children.

Pickup is survived by his wife, Aimee; two sons, Nathan and Taylor; daughter, Nicole Randolph; parents, Harry and Joella; and three brothers, Harry III, Richard Randall, and David. He was preceded in death by his sister, Donna Finney.

A funeral service for Pickup was held Saturday at the Temple Terrace Church of Christ on East Busch Boulevard.

kknight@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7413

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