WATCH REPLAY! Huge Crowd Supports Space Coast Public Service Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony

By  //  January 12, 2020

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WATCH THE SPACE COAST PUBLIC SERVICE AWARDS ON SPACE COAST DAILY TV

SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Watch Replay – The fourth annual Space Coast Public Service Awards & Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held Saturday, at the Radisson at Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral.

SPACE OCAST DAILY TV: Space Coast Daily’s Zach Clark and Susanne Vaughn were on the Red Carpet at the fourth annual Space Coast Public Service Awards & Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held Saturday, at the Radisson at Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In every community, there are great men and women who have, by their strength of will and character, become ingrained in the consciousness of our society.

They are doers and risk-takers who have made a stand and a commitment to the common good.

They are labeled as public servants, but they are truly our natural leaders whose legacies are the milestones of our progress.

The fourth annual Space Coast Public Service Awards & Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is set for Saturday, January 11 at the Radisson at Port Canaveral.

The purpose of the Space Coast Public Service Hall of Fame is to celebrate the value and virtue of the highest standards of public service to our community; highlight the contributions and devotion of public service, recognize the work of public servants and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.

The highly prestigious awards will recognize and honor our dedicated public servants who have served with distinction, selflessly serving our community and whose work can be viewed as models of public service within and outside the work environment.

They have poured their talents, time and resources into helping and improving the lives and future of others.

SEE THE HONOREE VIDEO TRIBUTES:

Award winners were selected from all areas/levels of public service. All recipients must have made significant contributions as public servants and was evaluated by the PSA Committee on their efforts and accomplishments.

Special honorary recognition will be conferred upon individuals and groups that have made significant public service contributions. Deserving public servants who have passed away will also be recognized in a special “In Memoriam” section of the awards.

“Space Coast Daily is to be commended for developing such a wonderful concept,” said Sheriff Wayne Ivey.

“Brevard County is truly blessed with incredible communities that support our public servants, and outstanding individuals who have dedicated their lives to protecting, developing and saving our citizens. To honor and recognize these heroes is so greatly appreciated!”

All proceeds will benefit the Brevard County Public Safety Charity, a 501 c3 that supports public safety members in their time of need. Sponsorships and donations are tax exempt.

Public Service Hall of Fame induction ceremony festivities includes a Meet-and-Greet with the outstanding award recipients, food and beverages and the induction proceeding – which will feature compelling video tributes of each inductee and each honoree.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey presented the first class of the Space Coast Public Service Hall of Fame, which includes Gary Shiffrin, Mike Lawrence, Robert Waller, Maxwell King, Claude “Jake” Miller and Norman Wolfinger. The first annual Space Coast Public Service Awards & Hall of Fame Induction Gala was held at the King Center on September 24. The Space Coast Daily Awards Committee reviewed an incredible list of nominations and recognized more than 100 extraordinary Space Coast Public Servants during this very special event. (Steve Wilson image)

2020 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT HONOREES

This award recognizes public service professionals who have dedicated years of service during a distinguished career where they significantly advanced the public safety profession, and by substantial service, have furthered the cause of justice and the mission of public service.

The award is presented to a deserving individual (living or deceased) who has taken a long-term leadership role in a public service profession.

Recipients of this award are recognized for making extraordinary contributions and sacrifices through a body of work that positively impacted their organization and community over their lifetime.

The Space Coast Public Service Hall of Fame Inductees will be chosen from the Lifetime Achievement Awardees and will be announced on January 11.

In the 1940s, Dick Blake played three sports at all-black Monroe High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Claflin University in South Carolina and master’s degrees from Columbia University in New York and Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

RICHARD “DICK” BLAKE

In the 1940s, Dick Blake played three sports at all-black Monroe High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Claflin University in South Carolina and master’s degrees from Columbia University in New York and Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

After returning to Brevard County, he became a teacher and coach. Later, he helped in the integration of Brevard schools, becoming the first African-American principal in Brevard Public Schools when he was promoted to principal at Cocoa High School in 1979.

Blake is a man who treasured guidance from his community-focused parents, Virgil and Bertha Blake, for whom Blake Avenue in Cocoa was named. He has proudly provided 40 years of dedicated service and leadership to the citizens of Rockledge as a city councilman, and Cocoa, as a Principal.

The price of public service is high, but Blake never hesitated in paying the price. He could be counted on to assist with any challenge a citizen or student was facing.  Blake has truly been an ambassador for the City of Rockledge and the Rockledge Police Department for many years.

The community owes much of its current successes to Blake as over the last four decades, he has set the bar for city council members and raised the expectations of all.

The relationships and partnerships started by Blake some 40 years ago remain strong today. He is a member of the community who really cares about everyone which is seen in his actions.

Blake worked hard for his community, with respect towards every individual as he understood that respect should never be the byproduct of race, religion, age or orientation.

Hugh M. Brown was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1935 to the Reverend and Mrs. Morris C. Brown.

HUGH BROWN

Hugh M. Brown was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1935 to the Reverend and Mrs. Morris C. Brown. In 1954, he graduated from the Lake County Training High School in Leesburg, Florida.

He entered the U. S. Air Force where he served for four years, flying more than 3,000 hours on Super Constellations Aircraft.

After completing his service in the Air Force, Brown graduated from Central State University in Ohio with a BS degree in Mathematics and Industrial Engineering.

He spent six years in Europe with ITT, as a Senior Field Engineer, on a state-of-the-art NATO project before joining the Aerospace community in 1967, at Kennedy Space Center, in support of the Apollo/Saturn launch program.

Brown has over 30 years of industry executive management experience, and in 1978, he founded BAMSI, Inc. a full-service engineering and technical services company.

Under his leadership, the company was consistently recognized as one of the most successful privately-owned firms in the Southeast.

Headquartered in Titusville, Florida, BAMSI employed over 2,200 highly skilled professional and technical personnel while managing contracts in 11 states across the nation.

As a Government Services contractor, BAMSI provided engineering and technical launch services at the Kennedy Space Center in support of the Shuttle launch program, Prime Center Support Contractor at Marshall Space Flight Center Alabama, AMES Research Center California and other NASA Centers, as well as major Defense Department installations.

President George H. Bush presented Brown with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Graduate of the Year Award, during a White House ceremony in September of 1991. President Bush invited Brown to the White House to attend a Black Tie State Dinner.

An active community and business leader, Brown is an advocate of success achievement through a “Can Do”’ attitude. He believes in the ethics of hard work and treating people with dignity and respect. His company motto was, “We work hard to earn your confidence…Even harder to retain it.”

John Cosat began his distinguished career in Emergency Management and Public Safety in 1980, as an Air Force Officer, serving as an Emergency Management Policy Development, Chemical, Nuclear, Biological Defense Warfare Officer.

JOHN COSAT

John Cosat began his distinguished career in Emergency Management and Public Safety in 1980, as an Air Force Officer, serving as an Emergency Management Policy Development, Chemical, Nuclear, Biological Defense Warfare Officer.

During his 12-year tenure in the Air Force, Cosat held critical positions that enhanced the preparedness of Major Air Force Commands, such as the United States Air Force – Europe, and Headquarters, Military Airlift Command.

While serving in this capacity, he managed U.S. Air Force programs for Disaster Preparedness and Nuclear, Biological and Chemical defense warfare.

As a junior officer, Cosat deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Iraq Gulf War) where he served as the Chemical Warfare Defense Subject Matter Expert for Central Command Air Force in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Following the Gulf War, Cosat made the decision to take his talents to the civilian sector, and in 1992, he began the next chapter in his life as an Emergency Management technician for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Air Force, both for the John F. Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

In 1998, he was promoted into the position of Emergency Management Program Manager. In 2008, the government contract supporting both KSC and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station split, creating the Kennedy Space Center Emergency Management Office. He was hired into that office and continues to lead the team as the Chief of Emergency Management.

For the past 13 years, Cosat has been managing all planning, response and recovery operations during large scale disasters for NASA and Kennedy Space Center.

As an Emergency Manager, both in the military and as a government contractor, he has devoted his life to ensuring the people he serves are fully prepared for disaster, and the teams he manages are fully trained to respond to emergencies.

Art Edwards began his public service career as a NASA Engineering Co-op Student in April 1967.

ART EDWARDS

Art Edwards began his public service career as a NASA Engineering Co-op Student in April 1967.

Upon graduation from Florida A&M University in 1970, Art accepted employment with Rockwell International as an Apollo Program Electrical Systems Engineer.

Edwards had many outstanding Aerospace accomplishments, which includes leading the 5,000 plus United Space Alliance KSC employees in achieving OSHA Voluntary Protection Program Certification.

He led the organization of the KSC VPP Leadership Council and ultimately a significant and measurable change in the overall KSC Safety Culture.

Since 1972, Edwards has diligently devoted quality time to various non-profit organizations while excelling in his professional career. In 2007, he was selected by the Brevard County School Board District 1 Representative to sit on the BCSB Audit Committee.

The operation of the BCSB Audit Committee was significant in Brevard County School Systems being selected for the prestigious Sterling Award.

Edwards has received many awards of recognition, but his most cherished awards are the Lifetime Achievement Award, received in 2013 from his beloved Alma Mater Florida A&M University and the 2013 National Space Club prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Retired, but still very active, Edwards’s community involvement continues as he serves as Steward at St. James AME Church, President of the FAMU Brevard County Alumni Association and as Harry T. Moore Memorial Park & Museum Board of Directors.

Barbara Jenkins, born in 1928, was more commonly known as the “Queen of Cocoa” and worked her lifetime helping individuals in the community.

BARBARA JENKINS

Barbara Jenkins, born in 1928, was more commonly known as the “Queen of Cocoa” and worked her lifetime helping individuals in the community.

In 1982, the City of Cocoa officially proclaimed a “Barbara Jenkins Day” and later named the street on which she resided, “Barbara Jenkins Street,” in her honor.

Jenkins taught classes to those who wanted to learn a trade, taught parenting skills to young mothers, gave voters rides to the polls, and would prepare a home-cooked meal for the homeless or anyone in need.

One of Jenkin’s proudest accomplishments was when she single-handedly desegregated Wuesthoff Hospital in Rockledge.

During her lifetime, she served on the following community organizations: Secretary of Parent Teachers Association; Child Care Development Curriculum; City of Cocoa Beautification Advisory Council; Continuing Education for Women; League of Women Voters; Rockledge High School Advisory Council; City of Cocoa Human Relations Board; Community Services Council; Mount Moriah AME Church; Cocoa Housing Authority Commissioner; Cocoa Police Department Advisory Board; and Habitat for Humanity, to name a few.

Jenkins awards are a testament to a woman who fought for the underprivileged and sought to find ways to improve the community.

She was honored with the Outstanding Service to Brevard Community College Award; Community Service Award, Rockledge Civic League; Outstanding Service to the Community, Reverend Riley Award; Outstanding Service to Others Award; City of Cocoa Mayor Proclamation “Barbara Jenkins Day”; An Evening to Be Remembered “Reflections on the Life of Barbara Jenkins”; Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award; Love in Action Award; Mount Moriah Dedicated Service Award; Outstanding Women in the Community Award; Outstanding Church Award; and Outstanding Woman of Brevard County Award, Metropolitan Baptist Church.

She passed away on May 25, 2019, but her legacy will live within the lives of so many who crossed her path and those who were honored to have called her a friend.

Tom Jenkins was a fixture in public safety for two decades, beginning in 1986, as the County Manager of Brevard and then as Chief Administrative Officer with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

TOM JENKINS

Tom Jenkins was a fixture in public safety for two decades, beginning in 1986, as the County Manager of Brevard and then as Chief Administrative Officer with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

As the Brevard County Manager, Jenkins continuously fought to ensure that the Sheriff, Public Safety Director and Fire Chief were always given top priority and had all of the resources necessary to protect our citizens at the highest level.

When elected in 2004, former Sheriff Jack Parker was so impressed with Jenkins’s management style and effectiveness, that he invited him to become a member of the Sheriff’s Office Command Team.

He went on to become critical to the Agency’s success, guiding each member to serve the citizens at the highest possible level. Much of the financial credibility that the Sheriff’s Office enjoys today is a result of the strong foundation of trust built by Jenkins.

It is because of his hard work and high expectations many years ago that the County’s public safety services flourish today.

It is the opinion of former Sheriff Parker that very few people have ever, or will ever, do more to create a safe environment for the citizens of Brevard County than Jenkins.

Judge Clarence Johnson, Jr. devoted his life to public service and was a pioneer in the legal system of Brevard County.

CLARENCE JOHNSON, JR.

Judge Clarence Johnson, Jr. devoted his life to public service and was a pioneer in the legal system of Brevard County. A native of New Jersey, Johnson moved at the age of seven to Alachua County, growing up across the street from the girl that he would marry.

He began his career of service during the Korean conflict, serving in the Air Force from 1950 to 1954. He would return to Alachua County, graduating with his Bachelor’s degree and later his Law degree from the University of Florida.

Johnson’s law career began as a partner in a firm in West Palm Beach. He relocated to Brevard County in 1963, where he became the president of what was then known as Brevard Community College. He became a Circuit Court Judge in 1971, where and served on the bench for 31 years. He was Chief Judge for five years and a Senior Judge for nine years.

His dedication to service extended to the community, as he served as President for both the Cocoa Jaycees and Rotary.

Johnson also served as Chairman for the Central Brevard YMCA, President of Crosswinds, Chairman of the State Pilotage Rate Review Program, and was active in the Faith Lutheran Church.

Chief Judge Lisa Davidson described Johnson as being, “fond of saying that 10 or 20 years after you ruled on a case, the litigants may not remember how you ruled, but they will remember how they were treated.”

Whether hearing the arguments of skilled attorneys or litigants who represented themselves, Johnson allowed parties to make their case, delivered clear and just decisions, and treated all with respect and civility.

In 2018, Johnson, a Korean War veteran, traveled the Nation’s Capital with Space Coast Honor Flight to visit the War Memorials that pay tribute to him and his fellow servicemen and women.

Judge Clarence T. Johnson passed away this year on Independence Day, but because of his legacy of distinguished service that formed the foundation of Brevard’s judicial community and his dedicated service to his country, he will not be forgotten.

Roger Langevin’s experience and training have enabled him to provide an outstanding level of security to facility, aircraft, launch programs, and flight crew readiness as the Kennedy Space Center Chief of Security.

ROGER LANGEVIN

Roger Langevin’s experience and training have enabled him to provide an outstanding level of security to facility, aircraft, launch programs, and flight crew readiness as the Kennedy Space Center Chief of Security.

His distinguished public service career began 35 years ago and includes 20 years of active duty in the United States Air Force, Deputy Sheriff for Okaloosa County, and most recently as the Chief of Security for the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

In his current role, Langevin is responsible for security readiness, response, command, and control during all launches, as well as the protection of all flight hardware assets on KSC.

His efforts, which include spearheading the implementation of the KSC Active Shooter Plan, a new Airborne Defense Plan, physical improvements to KSC’s infrastructure, and providing input to the members of the Multi-Agency Command and Control Team, are only a few examples of how he has tremendously improved the protection of America’s Space Program.

Langevin has brought together  NASA, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and other officials to brainstorm how KSC could provide greater security and protection for the space launch program.

As the liaison to the United States Secret Service, Langevin has spent countless hours with the Secret Service, KSC security forces, U.S. Air Force, Coast Guard, and Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, ensuring a smooth arrival, on-site visit, and departure of our President, Vice President, and other U.S. and foreign dignitaries.

Because of his attention to detail, the Secret Service ranked the KSC security plan and protection as being 5-out-of-5, the highest rating offered under the protection of the President.

Langevin is a graduate of the 228th session of the world’s premier law enforcement development training, the FBI National Academy, exemplifying his never-ending quest to be ready when confronted with a security threat.

Linda Rhode started her NASA career in 1984 as a co-op in the KSC Shuttle Management Administrative Office working for the Shuttle Management Director as an Administrative Assistant.

LINDA A. RHODE

Linda Rhode started her NASA career in 1984 as a co-op in the KSC Shuttle Management Administrative Office working for the Shuttle Management Director as an Administrative Assistant.

In 1986, she made the transition to the Protective Services Office where she has held many different positions, including Security Assistant in the Operations Division, NASA Special Agent, and Security Specialist.

Rhode was the lead Special Agent for 15 Space Shuttle missions where she was responsible for all launch and landing operations, crew protection, and coordination of Department of Defense and Coast Guard assets to ensure secure waterways and airspace.

When Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart over Texas and Louisiana, Rhode was the lead Special Agent responsible for impounding and securing critical facilities and electronic data later used as evidence for the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

She was the Senior Special Agent in charge of KSC operations, reconstruction, and preservation of Columbia evidence as it was transported back to KSC.

As a NASA Special Agent, she has served on executive protection details for President Barack Obama, Vice President Mike Pence, numerous members of Congress and many VIP’s during their visits to KSC.

Rhode is a 2015 graduate of Eastern Florida State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management.

She has received numerous awards and medals throughout her NASA career including the NASA Silver Achievement Medal, the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, and the prestigious Silver Snoopy awarded by the NASA Astronaut Office. Ms. Rhode volunteers her time at the Hidden Acres Rescue for Thoroughbreds (HART).

During her more than 35 years of service, Rhode has developed programs, policies, and requirements necessary to protect personnel, flight hardware, and critical assets required for mission success.

Steve Salvo has proudly worked in public service for over 43 years since beginning his career in 1976 as a police officer in the Town of Melbourne Village.

STEPHEN SALVO

Steve Salvo has proudly worked in public service for over 43 years since beginning his career in 1976 as a police officer in the Town of Melbourne Village.

In 1977, Salvo served as a policeman for the City of Cape Canaveral and was the last city police officer hired before the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office took over the law enforcement responsibilities in 1978.

Since 1978, Salvo has served with distinction at the Brevard Sheriff’s Office where he was promoted through the ranks for his outstanding service. He retired in 2016 as Commander directing many of the Agency’s administrative functions.

During his tenure, Salvo was also asked to serve as Interim Police Chief for the Town of Melbourne Village in 1997, and Interim Police Chief for the Town of Melbourne Beach in 2007.

Salvo holds many instructor certifications, coordinating training courses for the department as a whole or instructing new divers wanting to join the Dive Team.

He has been associated with the United Way of Brevard for the past 20 years, both as a contributor and in a volunteer capacity. He is is a long-time member of the Space Coast Freewheelers, a local bicycle club that holds two major annual cycling events for charity where all of the proceeds are given to local charities.

In 2016, Salvo joined Eastern Florida State College as Dean of the Public Safety Institute, where his legacy of training and development of our future public service members continues. If that is not enough, he is also an active Reserve Deputy for the Sheriff’s Office where he volunteers many hours in the protection of our citizens.

Dr. Joe Lee Smith has provided years of dedicated service and leadership to the residents of the City of Rockledge.

DR. JOE LEE SMITH

Dr. Joe Lee Smith has provided years of dedicated service and leadership to the residents of the City of Rockledge.

A native of Cocoa, Smith graduated from Cocoa’s Monroe High School and earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

He then obtained the rank of 1-A Educational Specialist, as well as his doctoral degree in Educational Administration and Supervision in Higher Education from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

In 2000, Smith retired from Brevard Community College as campus President Emeritus. He was later recruited out of retirement to serve as Provost of the Palm Bay campus, and in 2017, Smith retired as Eastern Florida State College Ambassador.

Smith was a founder of Central Brevard Recreation Association and has served on the Boards of Directors for the United Way of Brevard County, First Union/Wachovia National Bank, the Salvation Army, Circles of Care, Rolling Readers and the Boys and Girls Club.

Over the years, Smith has received a number of awards, including the Brevard Community College Distinguished Service Award, the Humanitarian Award from Onyx Magazine, and the United Third Bridge Puerto Rican Taino Award for his work to advance the Hispanic community in Brevard County.

He was inducted into the Brevard County Space Coast Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame and received the 2013 South Brevard NAACP Lifetime Achievement/Living Legend Award. Smith has been inducted into the Florida A&M University’s Sports Hall of Fame as a baseball player, and into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame for his achievements in sports development.

Smith has several facilities named in his honor, including the Joe Lee Smith Recreation Center, formerly known as the Magnolia Street Park in Cocoa. In 2012, the Dr. Joe Lee Smith Teaching Center was launched on the Melbourne campus of EFSC.

In 2015, Rockledge dedicated a portion of Edwards Drive as Dr. Joe Lee Smith Drive in recognition of his leadership in the community. In his role as a Rockledge City Councilman, he has consistently made it a point to protect the most vulnerable in his community.

Times change, fashion changes, and employees change, however, Smith’s sense of duty and responsibility for the wellbeing of our community are things that have not changed.

Judge George Turner has dedicated his life to the service of his country and the community he lives in.

GEORGE B. TURNER

Judge George Turner has dedicated his life to the service of his country and the community he lives in. He has distinguished himself as a combat veteran, a law enforcement officer, assistant state attorney and now presides over some of the most important cases as a Circuit Court Judge.

His service career began in 1969, as a member of the Airborne Infantry Rangers of the U.S. Army and he is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War receiving multiple awards including the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Service Stars, and The National Defense Service Medal.

After leaving the Armed Services in 1972, Turner began serving his community by joining the Melbourne Police Department as a patrol officer.

Using his military experience, Turner distinguished himself with the Bomb Disposal Unit, Underwater Dive Team, Traffic Homicide Unit and as the Officer in Charge of the Department’s SWAT Team. He was honored by the department in 1979, as the Melbourne Police Department Officer of the Year.

While a member of the MPD, Turner graduated from Rollins College with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He ended his career in law enforcement in 1981 to pursue a law degree, which he obtained from Nova University College of Law in 1984.

Turner then went to work for the State Attorney’s Office, leaving in 1986 for private practice in criminal, civil and personal injury law.

From 2002 to 2005, Turner served on the County Court as a Brevard County Administrative Judge and Chairman of the Brevard County Canvassing Board.

In December 2005, Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Turner to the Circuit Court where he continues to serve. During his time with the Circuit Court, he has served as a Civil Administrative Judge and currently serves as an Appellate Administrative Judge.

Shannon Wilson has worked with the Brevard County Attorney’s Office since 1987 after receiving her degree of Juris Doctor in July 1981 from Stetson College of Law.

SHANNON WILSON

Shannon Wilson has worked with the Brevard County Attorney’s Office since 1987 after receiving her degree of Juris Doctor in July 1981 from Stetson College of Law.

Prior to her employment with the County Attorney’s office, she served ably as an Assistant Public Defender with the Seminole County Public Defender Office, and as an Assistant State Attorney with the Brevard County State Attorney’s Office.

Wilson was promoted to Division/Office Chief during her tenure with the State Attorney and was responsible for the organization of the trial division, supervision of attorney within the division, and preparation of major cases in the division along with her regular caseload.

She has provided legal advice to the Board of County Commissioners, County Managers, and numerous County Departments. In the course of her representation of the County Commission, Wilson made appearances in the 18th Judicial Circuit, the Middle District Court of Florida and the Fifth District Court of Appeals.

Her career advanced during her time with the County Attorney’s Office from Assistant County Attorney to Assistant County Attorney III before ultimately being promoted to Deputy County Attorney in 2005.

Wilson served as the County Attorney’s Office United Way representative and the public education outreach events representative. She mentored and trained many young attorneys and county staff and was often declared the “go-to” person for answers needed on an inexhaustible list of topics.

She continues to assist throughout the week, despite her retirement on January 31, 2019, with outstanding legal advice and wise counsel just as she’s done for the last 31 years.

Judge J. William Woodson, known to colleagues and friends as “Woody,” was born in Miami and served his country as a member of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne.

J. WILLIAM “WOODY” WOODSON

Judge J. William Woodson, known to colleagues and friends as “Woody,” was born in Miami and served his country as a member of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne.

Entering the Armed Forces as World War II was coming to a close, he did not see combat, however, served in Germany at the conclusion of the war, relieving troops returning from combat and participating in the reconstruction efforts.

After completing his military service, Woodson returned to Miami and attended the University of Miami where he earned his law degree. It was during this time that he met and married his wife Joyce, who he would share 51 years with raising three children and numerous grandchildren.

Admitted to the Florida Bar in 1952, Woodson relocated to Brevard County where he opened his law office in Eau Gallie, which was a small town at that time.

He served on the City Council during that time and became the first Eau Gallie City Attorney, and was appointed to serve Brevard County as Justice of the Peace.

From 1953 to 1957, he held that title, which not only put him in the position of hearing cases but also made him the Coroner of Brevard County.

Woodson was appointed as a Circuit Court Justice for the 18th Judicial Circuit in 1973 by Governor Reubin Askew. He would serve on the bench for 18 years until his retirement in 1991.

Woodson continued to assist the circuit after retirement, appearing on the bench as a Senior Judge. Many times he would be tasked with presiding over cases that were complicated or politically sensitive.

Outside the courtroom, Woodson was deeply invested in the Eau Gallie area. He was active in community organizations such as Rotary, Lion’s Club and Kiwanis, and his weekends were spent supporting the city’s little league football and baseball teams.

Judge Woodson ruled the courtroom with common sense, looking not only at the facts of the case and the severity of the crime, but taking into account the person before him prior to handing down his rulings or sentences.

He was a mentor to many attorneys and judges that came after him, always available to assist or teach newly appointed judges, as they transitioned from private practice to the bench.

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