Edward “Ed” Gove Jr.

Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Edward “Ed” Gove Jr., 93, died at The Aspen assisted living community in Brookhaven, MS, on Jan. 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 loved spending time with his family and fondly remembered many vacations spent in Bath, ME, Ocean City, NJ, and Fort Walton Beach, FL. He was a lifelong trainspotter, model railroader, and train travel enthusiast, having crisscrossed the country countless times by train. He also loved animals, rooting for Ole Miss, puzzles, caramel corn, New Jersey cinnamon buns, card games, root beer, and listening to big band music.

Ed attended the University of Delaware and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After the war, he came home 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 glassblower who had previously worked on the development of the lightbulb under Thomas Edison. In 1957, Ed relocated with Jan and their young children to Brookhaven, MS, where he opened a second factory for the business. The plant would later become the global headquarters with Ed at the helm of the whole company. Under his leadership, the business became one of the world’s largest of its kind. He continued to manage Hartley Gove Sons well into its third century, until his retirement in 2019 at the age of 90.

Known for being gentle and soft-spoken, Ed was widely liked and respected by employees, customers, and friends alike. He believed in treating everyone with dignity and respect, and always put the needs of others before his own. He valued goodness and doing the right thing above all else, and he gave generously to others in every way that he could.

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Along with his wife, Ed helped to make the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League (BARL) what it is today. In addition to his direct involvement over a period of 35 years — volunteering, donating, fundraising, rescuing, and personally housing dozens of animals in his home — he also helped the organization secure property and build a permanent, modern facility 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 helping to build numerous buildings, as well as the Camp of the Rising Son complex, in addition to numerous other accomplishments during his tenure.

Edward Gove, Jr. was born on Nov. 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 (Angelique), David Thomas Pittman (Cayla), Lindsey Russell Bein, and Philip Russell Bein. The family is eternally grateful to Mary Ann Lewis for her devoted loving care and support of Ed and Jan over the past several years. They would also like to thank The Aspen of Brookhaven for their kind consideration and help.

Ed is to be interred at Riverwood Memorial Park in Brookhaven; however, in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the funeral will be limited to family only. The family hopes to hold a larger celebration of life memorial service in the spring as the pandemic allows, but it has not been scheduled at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family asks 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.