St. Johns County Commissioner Paul Waldron dies at 53
Paul Waldron, Roy Alaimo's predecessor on the County Commission, was well-respected among his peers on the County Commission. Image via The St. Augustine Record.

Paul Waldron
Waldron represented District 3.

St. Johns County Commissioner Paul Waldron, 53, died early Tuesday morning at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine. Commission Chair Henry Dean announced his death at the beginning of Tuesday’s County Commission meeting. A cause of death was not specified.

For Dean, making the announcement was tough. Waldron and Dean were elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020.

“I had to take a few deep breaths,” Dean said afterward. “I really became attached to Paul during our six years on the Commission.”

“He was all about the people,” Dean said. “He was always accessible to the citizens who asked questions or had problems.

‘He was always very concerned about how an action (by the Commission) was going to affect families, for example, who lived near a rezoning, or a countywide issue.”

“He spent his entire adult life involved in charitable activities, for example, frying fish for the Shriners, or coaching Little League and girls’ soccer. That was just Paul. I will miss him.”

Waldron represented District 3. Gov. Ron DeSantis will appoint a successor to fill the remaining two years of Waldron’s term, said Dean.

In July 2020, he was hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a social media post by a family member. By Sept. 8, according to a Record article, he participated in a Commission meeting via telephone. He returned to in-person participation in October 2020.

County spokesperson Lorena Inclán said he was using a motorized wheelchair and attended Commission meetings in person or, by Zoom, the remote video platform, when necessary. He also attended other meetings in connection with his position.

As Commissioner, Waldron served on various committees, including the Northeast Florida Regional Council, the Recreation Advisory Board and the Tourist Development Council.

Dean and Waldron first met informally in 1984 when Waldron was a teenager. They both were at a ceremony marking the purchase of the Guano River Preserve from Herb Peyton, CEO of Gate Petroleum.

Dean was the state lawyer who negotiated the purchase for the former Florida Department of Natural Resources. Waldron’s father, then-County Commission Chair Harry Waldron, had advocated for the purchase before the Governor and Cabinet.

St. Johns County Administrator Hunter Conrad commented on Waldron’s legacy in a news release from the county.

“Paul was a great man who loved his family, served his community, and lived by faith. His legacy of public service will live on through the lives of everyone he inspired. This community will deeply miss him,” Conrad said.

Ryan Kane, director of parks and recreation, met Waldron about 18 months ago after he was hired. Waldron was the County Commission representative on the Recreation Advisory Board.

“He put a high value on all things public recreation, whether Little League fields, boat ramps, parks, beaches, the golf course, Mills Field; the whole package of parks and recreation,” Kane said. “He shared his memories of visiting sites with his father.”

Kane said he last saw him Oct. 12 at a meeting. He will remember Waldron’s “good smiles. He was very vocal about St. Augustine and St. Johns County but still welcoming to new blood coming into the county (positions).” Kane was one of them having been hired in July 2021 coming from director of recreation for Concord, Massachusetts.

A lifelong resident of St. Johns County, Waldron was part owner of the family’s Harry’s Curb Mart business on State Road 16, founded by his father who died last March. Waldron’s survivors include his wife of 34 years, Stephanie, and their two daughters, Ashley and Kati.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Craig Funeral Home.


This report originally appeared in The St. Augustine Record.

Staff Reports


  • Virginia Dart

    October 20, 2022 at 10:18 am

    He suffered from his own COVID policies. He and his Republican colleagues refused to even bring masking mandates before the commissioners of St. Johns County. He was an early victim. Sad story.

  • Phil Morton

    October 21, 2022 at 8:05 am

    Long covid can be deadly. The lack of accurate information from the FDOH will have ramifications in Florida for years to come.

  • Harold Finch

    October 21, 2022 at 3:57 pm

    I knew Paul and had worked with him on an important issue for a client. And although we did not agree on all issues, he certainly had a big heart and love for St. Johns County.
    Sadly, he was morbidly obese, barely surviving a bout with covid after being being hospitalized for several months.
    Rest in Peace Commissioner Waldron.

Comments are closed.


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