Edward Lawrence Sealover, 64, a former Sanibel city manager who served as a manager for cities and counties in seven states over a 40-year career, passed away on July 15 at his home in Fernandina Beach, Fla., following an 18-month battle with cancer.
Throughout his career, Sealover specialized in working with small to medium size governments and bringing new organizational structures and budget control measures to cities and counties. He was proud of having lowered property tax rates while reducing spending in several locations, and he also was known for starting capital improvement programs and for revising and streamlining personnel policies.
Serving as Sanibel city manager from August 1999 to April 2001, Sealover worked to use technological advancements to improve customer service, outreach and public safety efforts. He also oversaw a reduction of the city's property tax rate during his tenure.
Born March 11, 1948, in Shamokin, Pa., to Edward and Lorraine Sealover, Edward was raised in the Dundalk neighborhood of Baltimore County, Md., and graduated from Loyola Blakefield High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in American government and politics from the University of Maryland in 1970 and a Master's Degree in American government, public administration and public law from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971.
Sealover returned to Maryland, working as a fiscal analyst for the Maryland Department of Legislative Services and then as executive director of the Maryland Association of Counties. He began his career in local government by working first with the Montgomery County Office of State Affairs from 1976-79 and then as the senior staffer for Prince George's County Executive Larry Hogan from 1979-83.
Sealover bought a 45-acre farm in Eden, Md., in 1983 where he raised 62,000 chickens and four to six pigs at any given time. Though he had no background in agriculture, he referred to this time for the rest of his life as his favorite job because he was responsible for every operation on the property and was able to make it work.
During this time, he also taught political science courses at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore and coached the soccer and basketball teams of his son, Ed Jr., a product of his first marriage to the former Sandra Vermette. In February 1987, Sealover remarried Bleecker Hawkins, who remained with him for the rest of his life.
After Holly Farms Poutlry Industries downsized its operations in 1988, he returned to government, first working for the Maryland Department of General Services from 1988-89, then taking a job as town administrator in Elkton, Md. from 1989-90. After that short stint, he began a 22-year trek that took him throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast states, including Sanibel. He was county manager in Macon County, Ga., from 2010 until his retirement in February 2012.
Outside of work, Sealover enjoyed golf, ski and spending time on the beach, which was a main reason he moved back to Fernandina Beach after his retirement. He was known for having a sharp wit and dry sense of humor, and he loved to travel to visit family and friends up and down the East Coast and in Colorado.
Sealover is survived by his wife, Bleecker Sealover of Fernandina Beach; his son, Ed Sealover Jr. of Denver; his stepdaughter, Bleecker Elizabeth Hawkins of Washington D.C.; his mother, Lorraine Sealover of Dundalk; his brother, Michael Sealover of Dundalk; and his sister, Kimberly Sealover of Baltimore. He was preceded in death by his father, Edward Harrison Sealover of Dundalk.
A memorial service is planned for later this year in the Dundalk area.