Submitted by his wife
TO THE LIFE AND MEMORY OF A COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER AND COUNTRY GENTLEMAN
EDWARD ‘ ED’ STALLINGS a lifelong resident of Smith County Tn. was highly respected as a man of highest moral standards. Born and raised on a farm in Bluff Creek‚ he loved horses and hunting with his dogs. Shortly after graduating Smith County High School he served our country in the United States Army from Dec. 28‚ 1954 until an honorable discharge Dec. 11‚ 1956.
He became a member of the Carthage Volunteer Fire Department Oct. 1‚ 1957 and was elected by his peers to serve as Chief May 7‚ 1992‚ the commitment to which ultimately cost him his life August 1‚ 2004.
In 1966 Ed was one of 12 charter members of the Smith County Rescue Squad. He served as Chief of the Rescue Squad and is a former President of the agency.
Beginning in 1964 Ed served for many years as coach and President of the Babe Ruth and Little League ball teams. His last two years of coaching he won League Championships.
For over twenty years he was the Smith County representative for the American Red Cross and was the local contact official to get service men and women home on leave for family emergencies.
From Jan. 1974 until his death August 1‚ 2004‚ he served as Smith County Coroner. On Sept. 1 of that same year he served as the Smith County Sheriff for six hours when the former sheriff vacated the office at 6:00 p.m until the new sheriff was sworn in at midnight. He spent six anxious hours in the jail watching over the county–a night we both long remembered.
In addition to wearing a number of public service hats‚ Ed was a businessman. He was President and operating manager of the Smith County Monument Company in Carthage‚ a company he started in 1966 and incorporated in 1983.
He was also Vice President of the Sanderson Funeral Home where he had been employed as a funeral director since July 1‚ 1969. He also was a stockholder and served as secretary of a corporation owning three cemeteries in Smith County.
He was of the Methodist faith and was a member of the Civitan club and a member of Funeral Director Association.
A bill known as the ‘Chief ED Stallings’ bill was passed granting survivors of fallen firefighters in Tennessee the amount of $25‚000.00.
The Carthage Fire Hall has been renamed the ‘ED STALLINGS MUNICIPAL BUILDING.’ A bronze plaque and a picture with John 15:13 inscribed has been placed in the Fire Hall in memory and honor of Ed.
Ed and I‚ Wanda‚ were married Jan. 15‚ 1958. He was a loving husband for 46 years. We have three children‚ Nicky‚ Jason and Chanda‚ three grandchildren‚ Blake‚ Beau and Mikayla. Nicky is also a fireman and was injured in the fire that took his dad’s life. Jason is a Chiropractor practicing in Carthage. Chanda is head of the C T Department at Urology Associates in Nashville. Ed was a loving husband‚ Dad and Poppy. Blake‚ our first grandson named Ed ‘Poppy’ and that is what everyone calls him to this day. He loved family gatherings and sports. He was always there for the children and grandchildren when they played any sport.
After the burning building fell April 8‚ 2004 and a four month struggle in a critical care unit our dear‚ sweet‚ gentle Poppy left us August 1‚ 2004. It has taken me this long to talk about it without breaking down. I have shed many tears just writing this. Ed was a good man‚ I knew that‚ but I just didn’t know how many lives he had touched until his death and the people of Smith County began sharing with me the way he had touched their lives.
Ed was loved and is sadly missed by his family and the people of Smith and surrounding Counties.
Submitted by the chief of his department
Edward H. Stallings joined the Carthage Fire Department on 1 October 1957‚ and served as Chief from 7 May 1992 until his death on 1 August 2004.
Chief Stallings died from injuries sustained while directing fire suppression operations at a church fire on 8 April 2004. The roof of the structure had collapsed causing the front wall to fail and fall out onto the sidewalk injuring the Chief and two of his firefighters who had just exited the building.
He was active in numerous civic and charitable activities‚ but his great passions in life were his family and his fire department.
He is survived by his wife‚ Wanda‚ and their three children: Nicky‚ a Captain with the Department‚ Chanda‚ and Jason.
Ed was a devoted husband‚ a dedicated father‚ and a loving grandfather. To the fire service‚ he was a neighbor‚ a Good Samaritan‚ a mentor‚ our Chief‚ and our friend. He was a good‚ kind‚ and extraordinary individual‚ whose absence is only partially filled by the good works and good humor he leaves with us.