Thomas Grover Moon came into this world in May of 1950 at the Sanford Hospital. He was the first-born son of Jane and Tom Moon, Senior, of Oviedo, Florida. Their home was on Clark Street, within walking distance to school. Growing up, Tom enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping on the river with one of the many dogs in his life, “Shorty.” He attended the Oviedo School, the town’s K-12 public school, located where Lawton Elementary School stands today. Tom was part of the last class to graduate from that building in 1968.
After graduation, Tom enrolled at Florida Technological University, which is now the well-known University of Central Florida. He also began working locally for the automotive industry in addition to enlisting in the United States Army Reserves. After graduating from boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Tom came home to become a citizen soldier; serving his country and his community. He served in the Army Reserves for eight years in transportation and forty-seven years for General Motors.
Tom met his wife Marian in 1978 while square dancing, which they both loved to participate in. They were married for 43 years and are very proud of their many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. After retirement, Tom’s dream was to own a RV and travel the country. His first trip was to see his grandson graduate from Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. After crowding the family into his camper there, Tom decided they needed a bigger vehicle! After purchasing their fifth-wheel, he and Marian travelled the country making memories like visiting Organ Stop Pizza in Phoenix, Arizona, home of the biggest and best pipe organ in the world. Their final trip together this summer was to the start of the mighty Mississippi River near Bemidji, Minnesota. A small, friendly town that reminded Tom & Marian of the way Oviedo used to be.
Tom is survived by his wife, Marian; his brother John; his children Steve and his wife Karen, Dan and his wife Tammy, and Paul and his significant other Donna; his grandchildren Bryan and his significant other Austin, Ryan, Jesse and Toby; and his great granddaughters Skylar and Brantlee.
Tom Moon was an integral part of Oviedo Memorial Post 243, Department of Florida, The American Legion. He was a member for 51 continuous years and followed in his father’s footsteps to serve the Post in many capacities including Adjutant, Finance Officer, and Commander from 1999 to 2001 and again from 2003 to-2006. He remained active in many of the Post’s programs helping serve the community, mentor leaders and youth, and honor fellow veterans. His knowledge of the Oviedo area and Post 243 history was instrumental in Oviedo Memorial Post 243 celebrating its 75th Anniversary last November. Comrade Moon will be dearly missed.
Our comrade, 78, departed this earth much too quickly on March 27, 2022.
During his career Master Sergeant John Bentley was assigned to the 159th Military Intelligence Company and Headquarters 151st Military Intelligence Battalion. He was a full time Army National Guard Technician at the Aviation Support Facility (AASF) #2 for many years until the facility was closed in the mid-1990s. He served in many capacities during his National Guard career including OV-1 (Mohawk) Aircraft Mechanic, OV-A Technical Observer, Infrared/Side Looking Airborne Radar Platoon Sergeant, and as a Battalion Staff Noncomissioned Offcier.
When the Aviation Support Faciity closed, John was transfered to the Combined Support Maintenance Shop (CSMS) and worked as a technician until he retired from the National Guard.
John will be remembered by many.
Our Brother peacefully made his journey back to his Creator on December 15, 2021. Ed was born on December 15, 1940 in Montpelier Indiana, the son of Guy, Sr. and Ghlee Kershner. Ed is survived by Joyce, his biggest supporter, loyal advocate and wife of 53 years. Ed was blessed with two daughters along with their spouses, and he was “Grandpa Basketball” to three grandchildren.
Ed was an active member of the United Methodist Church of Oviedo where he served on the Military Support Team providing dedicated support and honoring of active-duty military, the National Guard and Reserves, and our treasured Veterans, and he assisted in the church’s stocking of the food pantry at Oviedo High School which serves students and their families. Ed, known to most as “Coach”, touched the lives of thousands of teenagers through his career as a high school teacher and boys’ basketball coach. He taught history, drivers training and physical education. He was well regarded as an encourager and nurturer to students in his path. Ed coached for almost a decade in Indiana and for 37 years in Florida, closing his 48-year career as the winningest boys’ basketball coach in Florida high school history with a 901-377 coaching record, and two state championships. The first state title came with the legendary 37-0 Kissimmee Osceola team of 1982-83. In 2020, Ed became the first Florida coach inducted to the National High School Coaches of America Hall of Fame. He was also an inductee of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and coach, along with the Florida High School Athletic Associate Hall of Fame, the Florida Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame, and the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches Court of Legends. Ed formerly served the Florida Athletic Coaches Association as its basketball chairman, member of the board of directors and its president, and was a member of both their basketball advisory committee and basketball evaluators committee.
Ed’s passion for sports, most especially basketball, came naturally as his mother was a girls’ basketball coach with keys to the high school gym and his father was a referee. The oldest of three children in the basketball brood it was said that “he was infected with Hoosier hoops hysteria”. His love for the game never waned and when asked about it he was quoted as saying “I guess I've been living the dream for as long as I can remember”. Hailing from a school so small that it no longer exists, he went on play college basketball as a four-year starter at Florida Southern College when drafted into the Army prior to completing his degree. After his military service, which included playing and coaching for armed services all-star teams, Ed returned to Indiana to finish his degree, then began coaching as an assistant basketball and football coach. Upon receiving his master’s degree, he served as head basketball coach at four high schools in Indiana until his family moved to Florida in 1980. Ed was extremely proud to see the emergence of Florida high school basketball over the course of his lifetime.
Ed’s favorite foods drew a connection to home. It was his internal declaration of “I am of this place” that included both the quintessential mid-western and a taste for the best of the Sunshine State. His occasional indulgences included breaded tenderloin sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, popcorn, and Dairy Queen ice-cream cones, along with Plant City strawberries and Florida rock shrimp. He regularly ended his evening meal with a York peppermint patty, which he proclaimed with a wink was “good for digestion”.
Ed loved music - especially nostalgic 50/60s rock-n-roll including Elvis and Tina Turner- and he enjoyed history, action and military movies. He taught his children card games such as Crazy-Eights which they played many Sunday evenings as youngsters, and eventually Euchre, which they continue to play.
Ed lived a long, full life and even while living with the disease of his kidneys he regularly proclaimed how grateful he was to greet each new day. With his down to earth personality, he hardly met a stranger and rarely passed up an opportunity to find someone to talk to and discover commonalities. He believed that everybody needs a place to belong. He will be greatly missed and well-remembered.
Our Comrade and Palm Valley resident, 83, took his final breath on November 21, 2021.
James Ellis Murray 1942-2020