July 6, 1936 – July 15, 2023
Harold Eddie Westbrook, 87, passed from this life into eternal life July 15, 2023, in his Lavaca, Ark., home with his wife by his side.
Ed was born July 6, 1936, in Bakersfield as the youngest of three sons of Joseph Hardy and Esther Loraine Westbrook. He was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings, Walter Winfred Westbrook and Joe Hiram Westbrook.
Ed was raised in Shafter and graduated from Shafter High School in 1954. He was inducted into the US Army in 1959, and served in Munich, Germany, as an infantryman as well as the drum major of the 24th Division Drum and Bugle Corps. Ed's enlistment was extended for four months due to the Berlin Wall crisis in 1961, before finally being honorably discharged in 1962.
When Ed returned to Shafter, he met LaVonne at Nick's Drive-In, and they were married on July 8, 1963, at her brother's home in Delano. Ed worked at Atwood Crop Dusters, for Marshal Unruh at Minter Airfield. He also worked at Biofirm Chemical Co. in Wasco before starting his job with the Richland School District as gardner/groundskeeper, bus driver and custodian. Upon retirement from the school district in 1996, they relocated to Lavaca, Ark., in 1997, where they had purchased some acreage and built their home.
Ed always had a deep appreciation for the outdoors. He loved gardening, and he loved to fish, camp, hike and explore new places. He took his family with him, teaching them to enjoy nature as well. Ed loved cars and would share stories of the "hot rods" he had as a young man. He even took flying lessons for a while. Snow skiing was also tried.
After they married, they finished the boat he had started, and they would go water skiing and fishing at Huntington Lake. Eventually, he found a '34 Ford, "rust bucket" that needed lots of attention! After much time rebuilding it, Ed and LaVonne would take it to car shows and out for drives around the area. They even found themselves in Louisville, Ky.. one year at a car show.
Ed served as a deacon for many years at the Shafter Church of Christ. He led singing, taught Sunday School classes and occasionally would preach a sermon.
Ed is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, LaVonne Westbrook; his daughter, Regina Waldron (Robert); and a son, David. Papa Ed will be missed by his five grandchildren, Rebecca (T.J.), Rachel (Ed), Justin, Leann and Alex. He adored his five great grandchildren, Leia, Berlynn, Joshua, Raegan and Eddie. Ed was lovingly called "Uncle Eddie" by his nephews and nieces.
Ed kept his Bible handy. He was always reading, searching and discovering new truths. Ed loved the Word. He loved the Lord, and he is now in the presence of his Savior and King, Jesus.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, Aug. 12, at 10:30 a.m., at Central Christian Church in Fort Smith, Ark., where he was a member for 19 years.
Ed will be laid to rest with military honors at the Fort Smith National Cemetery, with his family present. Arrangements are being handled by Lewis Funeral Chapel, Fort Smith, Ark.