Remembering Tim EastPublished 12:05pm Friday, December 21, 2012
Some people live on in your memories even after they are gone, and for many people throughout Tallapoosa County, Tim East was that kind of person.
East died Nov. 16 at Lake Martin Community Hospital from injuries suffered in an accident. He was serving as the mayor of Daviston and the postmaster of Camp Hill.
“He was happiest when he was helping somebody else,” said his wife, Ginger East. “Tim had a servant’s heart. He was always wanting to give back to his community.”
Giving back to his community was part of what brought Tim and Ginger together. although they had occasional contact growing up through athletic events and 4-H activities, they reconnected the day Ginger’s father had a heart attack – Tim was volunteering on the ambulance.
After that, Tim would come see Ginger where she was working at the general store.
“He said, ‘If I were to ask you out, would you date me?’” Ginger said with a laugh. “And I said yes.”
They married Aug. 8 of 1981.
“It was like God sent him to me when he knew I was hurting and needed somebody,” Ginger said.
Being there when people needed him, Ginger said, became Tim’s legacy.
“I teased him and called him Tool Time Tim because he could fix anything,” Ginger said. “You could not out-work Tim East.”
Ginger said Tim served as a volunteer firefighter off and on throughout his life. He also, at times, served as fire chief, in addition to being active in the Boy Scouts.
“He was always doing things for others,” said assistant Scoutmaster Deborah Clark, who worked with Tim for 17 years. “If you needed something, he was going to do it for you without expecting anything in return.”
Tim saw more than 20 Eagle Scouts through the program during his service, Ginger said. One of them played taps at his funeral.
“Tim taught leadership and responsibility by example,” Ginger said. “He was just one to be working diligently behind the scenes to serve others.”
He also worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 23 years – working as the Postmaster of Five Points as well as a mail carrier and clerk in other cities.
“He was probably one of the most fantastic people I think I’ve ever met,” said Tara Crowley, post office clerk in Camp Hill. “He did everything he could to help whoever he could.”
Ginger said if Tim could give her advice, she thinks he would tell her to “pay it forward.”
“He was my better half,” Ginger said. “When I was with him, I was a better wife, I was a better mother, I was a better Christian and I was a better neighbor.”
The Easts had two sons and a daughter. Their middle son, Lynn East, had come home for a visit before being deployed to Afghanistan.
“He got home … Thursday night before Tim’s accident Friday afternoon,” Ginger said. “He was late, but Tim and I waited up to see him get there, and they talked. I was just really thankful.”
Tim was also in his fifth year serving as the mayor of Daviston.
“He enjoyed that,” Ginger said. “Mainly as mayor he oversaw the water department and helped the clerk organize … He was all the time going up to the community center and making sure the air was on, making sure the heat was on, making sure the ice machine was working.”
And it’s that service, along with Tim’s positive attitude, that will keep him living on.
“He’s always going to be in our hearts and minds,” Crowley said. “Everybody in this town loved him.”