COPPERAS COVE — The first meeting of the City Council in 2019 began in silence.
Not a word was said Thursday night as dozens in the Technology Center reflected on Mayor Frank Seffrood, who died at his home Dec. 28 at the age of 79.
Seffrood was elected Dec. 11 to his second term as mayor, defeating Azeita Taylor in a runoff election for the post.
He was first elected to the mayoral post in November 2015 after serving 6½ years as a Cove councilman.
Interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah knew the mayor for eight years. The admiration Seffrood gained over the years, he said, was amazing.
“It’s amazing just in his family how much he is loved, because not every family loves each other — but they do, and it really shows,” Haverlah said. “It really shows in this community how much he was loved with the number of people who have contacted me directly and indirectly.”
Haverlah described Seffrood as a mayor with unmatched energy, who attended nearly every event he was charged to attend as a representative of Cove. In spite of being a retired Army veteran, postman and teacher, the interim city manager said Seffrood was always busy.
“He attends every regional meeting he is appointed to. If he misses it, it’s a serious reason,” Haverlah said, describing the mayor’s accountability. “We actually had to work with him to fit everything in his calender. He was so busy, he had to have somebody help him with his own schedule.
“I’m going to miss him sitting next to me while I had the opportunity to be up here. As a public servant to our community, I can say I truly loved him, and he will be greatly missed.”
Mayor Pro Tem Dan Yancey told those attending the council meeting that Seffrood found out the day before the runoff election, Dec. 10, that he had a terminal illness. Doctors said Seffrood had three to six months to live, according to Yancey.
“He was going to be here,” Yancey said.
The mayor pro tem then paused for nearly a minute in silence.
“That didn’t happen for him. But we’re here, and the best we can do is to work for what’s best for Copperas Cove, because that’s what Frank wanted. And I, too, will miss him greatly.”
Recently elected Councilman Fred Chavez said while he served on the city’s Economic Development Corporation, he got to know Seffrood. The mayor, Chavez said, taught him a lot about having class, and being “that guy.”
“He is the epitome of a servant leader. He was the first in, and the last to leave,” Chavez said. “If something needed to be done, it wasn’t ‘I’ll get somebody.’ It was him doing it.”
Councilman Jay Manning said the mayor taught him about faithfulness and kindness.
“For me, I work to be faithful, but Frank was constantly challenging to see his faithfulness in everything he did,” Manning said. “He was one of the kindest people I’ve ever worked with.”
Kirby Lack was the last councilman who shared his memory of Seffrood. For him, he will remember his former mailman forever.
“An awesome guy. He was my mailman for years. He went all over this town,” Lack said. “He was just such a good guy.”
According to the city, the family has requested privacy at this time.
A Catholic Mass for Seffrood will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1001 Georgetown Road in Copperas Cove. A burial with full military honors will follow at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery.
Four visitations are being held at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home, 211 W. Avenue B in Copperas Cove. The first visitation, from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, drew dozens of residents to pay their respects to the mayor. The second was from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Two additional visitations are from 1 to 3 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. today.
A rosary will be at 7:30 p.m. today at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Copperas Cove.
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