Edward “Ed” Gove Jr., 93, died at the Aspen Assisted Living Community in Brookhaven, MS on January 20, 2022. In addition to being a kind, generous and widely respected businessman, philanthropist and volunteer , Ed was a loving husband to Jan Gove for 65 years, and a devoted father and grandfather to his beloved family. He enjoyed spending time with his family and fondly remembered many vacations spent in Bath, ME, Ocean City, NJ and Fort Walton Beach, FL. He has always been a train spotter, model railroader and train travel enthusiast, having criss-crossed the country countless times by train. He also loved animals, rooting for Ole Miss, puzzles, caramel corn, New Jersey cinnamon rolls, card games, root beer, and listening to big band music.
Ed attended the University of Delaware and served in the US Army during the Korean War. After the war, he returned to Vineland, NJ, to work for the family business, Hartley Gove Sons Thermometers. The company had been founded by Ed’s grandfather, Hartley Gove, in the late 1800s. Hartley was a glass blower who had previously worked on light bulb development under Thomas Edison. In 1957 Ed moved with Jan and their young children to Brookhaven, MS where he opened a second factory for the company. The factory would later become the world headquarters with Ed running the whole business. Under his leadership, the company became one of the largest of its kind in the world. He continued to lead Hartley Gove Sons into the third century, until his retirement in 2019 aged 90.
Known for his gentleness and soft voice, Ed was widely liked and respected by employees, customers and friends. He believed in treating everyone with dignity and respect, and always put the needs of others before his own. He valued kindness and doing the right thing above all else, and he gave generously to others in any way he could.
Along with his wife, Ed helped make the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League (BARL) what it is today. In addition to his direct involvement over a 35-year period – volunteering, donating, fundraising, rescuing and personally housing dozens of animals in his home – he also helped the organization secure the property and build a facility. permanent and modern that has helped save the lives of thousands of animals.
Ed was a man of deep faith. A lifelong Presbyterian, he volunteered at Faith Presbyterian Church in Brookhaven for over 60 years, where he served as a deacon. He also served on the board of French Camp Academy, a Christian school for children from troubled homes, for 34 years. Upon his retirement from the board in 2014, he was recognized by the school for his role in the construction of numerous buildings, as well as the Camp of the Rising Son complex, in addition to many other accomplishments during his tenure.
Edward Gove, Jr. was born on November 29, 1928 in Landis Township, NJ (later incorporated as Vineland, NJ) to Edward Gove, Sr. and Ethel E. Downing Gove. He is survived by his wife of 65 years: Janice Louise Jaggers Gove; his six children and their spouses: David Jay Gove, Dianne Gove Bein (Kent), Bruce Robert Gove, Brian Scott Gove (Cecille), Kimberly Ann Gove Rials (Ricky) and Edward Mark Gove (Holly); and his six grandchildren and their spouses: Madison Nicole Gove, Robert Byram Gove, Jonathan Gove Pittman (Angélique), David Thomas Pittman (Cayla), Lindsey Russell Bein and Philip Russell Bein. The family is forever grateful to Mary Ann Lewis for her dedicated care and support of Ed and Jan over the past few years. They would also like to thank The Aspen of Brookhaven for their kind consideration and assistance.
Ed is to be buried at Riverwood Memorial Park in Brookhaven; however, in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, funerals will be restricted to family only. The family hopes to hold a larger celebration of the memorial service in the spring, pandemic permitting, but that has not been scheduled at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League at www.BARL.net/donate, French Camp Academy or Faith Presbyterian Church of Brookhaven.