50 F
Spring Hill
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
HomeBusiness & CommunityMemorial Held for Slain Local Veteran

Memorial Held for Slain Local Veteran

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On October 4th, 2023, friends and family members from around the community gathered at the High Point Community Center to celebrate the life of Edward “Ed” Mead. Born on May 19, 1942, Mead passed away on September 28 of this year following a fatal stabbing late that evening. When the tragedy occurred, Mead had been serving for the last eight years as a community safety officer in Brooksville, greeting people with a smile at the entrance to the neighborhood.

“Ed was kind, caring, giving, and he loved people. He loved everybody. He loved his family. He would do anything for anybody and… he would give his shirt off his back,” his daughter Melissa Richardson said.

During his 35-year career with Roadway Trucking, Mead earned the 2-million-mile safety award. Rebecca Tipton appreciated the serendipity of the date of the memorial falling on 10/4 as truckers often say “10-4” or “10-4 good buddy” to indicate that things are good to go. After all of the loss, this can serve as a small sign for the family to feel that everything is going to be alright.

A pamphlet with his obituary was handed out to help attendees follow along during the event and it stated that his years on the road displayed the steadfastness and conscientiousness of his character. Following his retirement, Mead also enjoyed delivering food for Dickey’s Barbecue, always with a smile. Outside of work, the beloved veteran enjoyed golfing, working in the yard and, most importantly, spending time with his family, who have lived in High Point for the last 14 years.

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As he had been a veteran of the Army National Guard, Mead was honored with a 21-gun salute by Detachment 708, Honor Guard of the Marine Corps League. The sound of the rifle shots rang outside the community center as an American flag was folded and given to Mead’s wife of 55 years, Barbara. He is also survived by his three daughters, Melissa, Rebecca and Kimberly, among many others. Reverend Darrel Hathcock spoke during much of the celebration of life, but several friends and family members came forward to say a word about the fallen hero as well.

“More importantly, [God’s love] was poured into and soaked into [Mead’s] family, so that his legacy of selfless service, love, and appreciation for others, all of that might continue,” Reverend Hathcock said regarding Mead. “Would you take a moment and simply remember September 28? Maybe as you drive by that white shack at the entrance, be sure and wave at whoever the white shirt is.”

The elderly community was rocked by the terrible act, and it has upended their sense of peace over the last week since that night. The reverend acknowledged the fear brought on by the tragic incident so close to home and called on the community members to be good neighbors and friends to those in need.

Hopefully, something can be done in the coming weeks to increase security and ease the concerns of the residents of High Point because, as the Reverend stated,

“We’re hurting; we’re in shock; we’re angry; we don’t feel safe anymore.”

Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch is a Graduate with Distinction, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. He's written numerous articles reporting on Florida Gators football, basketball, and soccer teams; the sports of rugby, basketball, professional baseball, hockey, and the NFL Draft. Prior to Hernando Sun he was a contributor to ESPN, Gainesville, FL and Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and Stadium Gale.
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