published: Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Candidate for Supervisor of Elections Beebe diesSEBRING — Richard “Rick” Beebe, candidate for Supervisor of Elections, died unexpectedly Tuesday night during a candidate forum at Homer’s Restaurant. The event was presented by the Highlands Tea Party.
Beebe’s cause of death is thought to be either a heart attack or a stroke, but is yet to be confirmed. Beebe was 52.
MaryAnn Lewis, a candidate for the school board, was at the meeting.
She said the event, which began at 6 p.m., had progressed normally, as each Supervisor of Elections candidate introduced themselves with a presentation and then answered questions from the audience. The candidates sat behind a table in alphabetical order. This meant Beebe sat at one end.
Lewis said he was energetic and enthusiastic during the meeting, rising from his chair and coming around to the front of the table during his presentation.
Toward the end of the event, just before 8 p.m., when candidates were taking the final questions from the audience, someone noticed Beebe was no longer sitting on his chair.
“We didn’t hear him (fall). The chair didn’t fall over, just suddenly he was on the floor,” Lewis said. “It took a few seconds to register, and then a second to react.”
After that, said Lewis, there was a flurry of activity as people ran to him, 911 was called and an effort made to find immediate medical help.
No one in the audience had that kind of background, Lewis said, but a nurse was found on the buffet side of the restaurant and came to assist several others who were already attempting CPR.
“He wasn’t breathing, he really wasn’t breathing,” said Lewis. “It was terrible to just look over and see him on the floor. It was a difficult scene. It was hard. It was very, very hard.”
Beebe was removed to the ambulance when it arrived, and was pronounced dead at 8:37 p.m.
“Rick Beebe was not only a candidate, but also a personal friend who, when asked a favor of, always came through,” wrote Jack Nelson on the Highlands Tea Party web site Wednesday morning. Nelson is the chairman of the party.
“Many in attendance at the meeting tried desperately to save his life. I want to personally thank every one of you for your efforts, and the efforts of our Highlands County EMS who did their best to try and save Rick.”
Beebe graduated from Syracuse University in 1998. From 2000 to 2010 he worked as a community leader and store manager for the Walgreens Corporation, overseeing four stores. In the company position of coordinator for community fundraising events he helped many local organizations, including the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Junior Achievement, and Habitat for Humanity. He also served as the Walgreens Highlands County flu shot coordinator.
He had served as Chairman of the Highlands County Republican Party, was a member of the Highlands County Group for Better Government, and a member of the Lake Placid Historical Society.
On a resume he listed his off hour activities as fishing, target practice, gardening, ATV riding and animals. Beebe was an active member of St. Catherine’s Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of the Highlands Tea Party.
Beebe is survived by his wife Lucy, three children and five grandchildren.
Funeral plans have yet to be announced.
One Less (by: Grim Reaper - 5/6/2012)
Teabagger that support Rick Scott. RIP
D. Milligan (by: Rusty Shackleford - 5/5/2012)
So sad you have to find about this terrible loss via Twitter.
So sad! (by: D. Milligan - 5/4/2012)
Just found out about this via twitter. My condolences to Mr. Beebe's family and friends during this time.
RIP (by: D.J. Franklin 708 - 5/2/2012)
RIP Rick. I only knew Rick for a short time but I admired so much about him. He was a wonderful family man full of energy. We were confirmed at St. Catherine Catholic Church at the same time last April. I will miss seeing him at mass. May God be with Lucy and the rest of his family. The world has lost a great man.
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