HAPPY TRAILS: Community honors Steeds’ retirement

Published 9:38 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Behind every good man, there stands a woman.

Shirley Steed has been the good woman behind the good man.

Lamar and Shirley Steed, the owners of Steed Tire Service in Brundidge, were honored upon their retirement by their extended community Sunday afternoon at Brundidge Station.

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The Steeds have owned and operated Steed Tire Service on South Main Street in Brundidge for 41 years. Lamar Steed has been the man “out front” but he quickly said that his wife has been with him every step of the way.

“I couldn’t have done anything without Shirley,” he said.

The couple sat side by side, often taking each other’s hand, as business and community representatives shared, with the large gathering of well-wishers, what this couple has meant and continues to mean to the city of Brundidge and its residents.

Brundidge Mayor Isabell Boyd said Steed Tire Service has been a vibrant and successfully owned business, providing necessary services to the citizens of the Brundidge area for more than four decades.

“Lamar Steed, the Tire Doctor, has dedicated himself to service and outstanding leadership with his tireless efforts to improve the quality of life for all Brundidge citizens while continuously supporting and promoting Brundidge,” Boyd said. “Lamar has spent countless hours of community service as a board member of the Brundidge Business Association, the Brundidge Industrial Development Board and the Brundidge Rotary Club. He has positively impacted the lives of many throughout Brundidge and Pike County.”

Boyd thanked Steed and his wife Shirley for their dedication to serving the people of Brundidge and all those who have benefited from their commitment to others.

Boyd presented the Steeds with a proclamation declaring May 6, 2018, a Day of Celebration in their honor.

The Rev. Shirley Ellis echoed the mayor’s acknowledgement of the “good deeds” that Steed performed throughout his career in the Brundidge business community.

“Lamar Steed is a godly man,” he said. “He went far beyond customer service; he treated his customers as friends.”

Ellis said the hours that Steed kept depended on the needs of his customers.

“He didn’t have off hours when you needed a tire,” he said. “And, if you didn’t have the money to pay right then, you could pay him as you could.  He cared about his customers and he cared about his community. What more can you say about a man.”

Brundidge Business Association President Kathy Sauer said Steed has been an integral part of the local business association.

“Lamar has been dedicated to all BBA projects but especially to the BBA sponsored parades, the Christmas Parade and the Independence Day Parade. He loves Brundidge and he worked diligently to put the city’s best face forward.”

Sauer, who is also president of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, said Steed was the one who first introduced her to the Brundidge community and is supportive of the Chamber’s effort to bring business to the area.

Don Dickert, chairman of the Brundidge Industrial Development Board, laughingly, said, although Steed has been greatly influenced by the “orange and blue,” he knows that a rising “tide” floats all boats.

“Lamar has always been supportive of developments that benefit Pike County,” Dickert said. “What benefits the county benefits Brundidge. Lamar was chairman of the ID board for 35 years. He has been a part of many things that have benefited Brundidge and that goes back about 41 years to the textile factories and the earlier food manufacturers. Most recently, he was involved in the Southern Classic Foods and Magnolia Vegetable Processors project.”

Dickert said the community will continue to benefit from Steed’s experience and leadership because “We’re not letting him retire from the ID board.”

Dixie Shehane, Brundidge Rotary Club president, said Steed’s dedication to his community and his fellowman is evident in his Rotary service.

“The Rotary Four-Way Test asks is it the truth; is it fair to all concerned; will it build good will and better friendships; and will it be beneficial to all concerned,” Shehane said.

“Lamar and Shirley have passed the test in the operation of their business and in their daily living. Lamar has 40 years of perfect attendance at the Brundidge Rotary Club and that is commitment. He was named the club’s 2018 Rotarian of the Year. He is chairman of the deacons at Richland Baptist Church. Has run his business professionally and honestly and with integrity. He and Shirley are retiring from the business but we all know that they will continue to be a part of the Brundidge community. They both have a servant’s heart.”