Grover C. Blevins, who entered politics as a septuagenarian and won his first race, has died after a long battle with cancer.
Blevins was elected to the Seminole City Council in March 1995 at age 76, vowing to be a spokesman for people of his generation. "We need people our age putting in a word every once in a while," he said.
"He just enjoyed everything and everybody," said Henrietta Blevins, his wife of 52 years. "He loved the council."
Blevins resigned after six months because of poor health, calling his time as a city official "a real pleasure and joy."
This month, he made a brief appearance at a public hearing on recreation, shaking hands with residents and city officials.
He said then that he was trying to keep a positive attitude despite his continuing health problems.
It was the last time he was able to go out in public, Mrs. Blevins said. He died Saturday at age 77.
"He was a very positive person," council member Penny Rasmussen said. "He faced every encounter with a very positive attitude, from his illness to his job on City Council to his life."
Vice Mayor Pat Hartstein said Blevins touched all the members of the council.
"We're all going to miss him," she said. "He was a symbol of how useful senior citizens can be."
Blevins had a long history of civic involvement with clubs at Seminole Gardens Apartments, where he had lived for more than 10 years, with the Seminole Mall walkers and with his church in his native Knoxville, Tenn.
Blevins will be buried today in the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Seminole Gardens Recreation Hall.
In addition to his wife, Blevins is survived by a son, Randy, of Nashville, Tenn.; a sister, Peggy Coker, Atlanta; and several nieces and nephews.