BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – More than a thousand mourners gathered Friday afternoon, many of them dressed in uniforms, to honor the life of a Brevard County deputy who was killed in a traffic crash while on his way to work.
The funeral for deputy Kevin Stanton, 32, was held at at New Life Christian Fellowship, in Titusville, at 2 p.m. Stanton died around 5 a.m. Saturday when the tread on the tire of a semitruck separated, causing that driver to lose control and crash into Stanton’s patrol car.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said Stanton had a life-saving award he had recently received in the car with him at the time of his death.
Loved ones described Stanton as a good-natured prankster who loved to help others and lived to serve.
The night before his death, Stanton stopped at a restaurant to eat when he encountered a World World II veteran who couldn’t drive himself home. While others at the restaurant suggested calling a taxi, Stanton insisted on helping the man out by giving him a ride home in what ended up being Stanton’s final act as a deputy.
“I think that’s a true testament of what Kevin was. You know, we love Kevin; he will always be with us. He will never be forgotten, I can assure you that,” Ivey said.
Standing before Stanton’s flag-draped casket, Ivey lightened the mood with jokes as he poked fun at the 11-year veteran of the department, who was born and raised in Titusville.
“As a little boy, Kevin loved to play Legos, but I am told he soon became bored with them around the age of 27,” Ivey said.
While Legos bricks and playing trumpet in Astronaut High School’s band entertained Stanton while he was younger, it was couponing that caught his interest as an adult, since he loved shopping but hated spending money.
“If you peruse Kevin’s Facebook page, you’ll see that one of his proudest moments was one he titled his biggest score – the purchase of over $600 worth of merchandise that only cost him $27 because of his coupons,” Ivey said.
Aside from wanting to be on the reality TV show “Extreme Couponing,” Stanton also aimed to become an agent within the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office’s economic crimes unit.
He had been with the agency since 2007 and during that time earned multiple letters of recognition and promotions. Stanton’s final promotion was done posthumously as Ivey announced Friday that Stanton would be permanently assigned to an agent position in the department.
After the ceremony, a procession took place along U.S. Route 1 to carry Stanton to his final resting place at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens.