Mayor Seffrood remembered, laid to rest
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Frank Seffrood was remembered by family and friends and the Central Texas community on Monday morning in a Mass held at Holy Family Catholic Church.
Seffrood, 79, was the seated mayor of Copperas Cove and passed away on December 28 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about four weeks ago.
As the hearse bearing Seffrood’s body made its way to the church, members of the Patriot Guard riders stood lined up outside holding American flags in Seffrood’s honor.
Among the local dignitaries and local officials in attendance were several members of the Copperas Cove city council, Mayor Jose’ Segarra of Killeen and Fort Hood Garrison Commander Col. Hank Perry.
The Rev. Patrick Ebner, pastor of the church, led the Mass and spoke of Seffrood’s military service and his love of family, along with Seffrood’s love for tinkering with cars.
“In talking with his family, I learned that he served our country for 23 years, and that he flew helicopters. He was a warrant officer. He had two tours in Vietnam. Not only was he awarded the Bronze Star, he had many additional medals and honors, too many to mention,” Ebner said.
“He loved to read books, not only to his own children and grandchildren, but to the children in our own Copperas Cove schools. He also loved to work on cars and trucks, and the irony was, his favorite car which he owned as a Jaguar, I think maybe a little out of his league to work on, but he loved that car nonetheless.
“If you want to hear a few more good stories about cars, just talk to his daughter, about how she got her first car and how it looked when she first got it, and how it looked when it was finished and repaired. Apparently everybody at school was quite envious of this car.”
Over the weekend, visitation times were held for Seffrood at Crawford Bowers Funeral Home in Copperas Cove, with a total of four two-hour sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
Across the back of the room were tables lined with photos of Seffrood over the years of his military service, as well as commendations and recognitions he had garnered, and some special family mementos of “Pappy”. A display board showed various newspaper clippings of Seffrood, from his trip down the water slide during the Polar Bear Plunge into Copperas Cove City Park pool, to his serving senior citizens during a Christmas dinner.
Members of the honor guard of the Copperas Cove Police and Fire Departments stood watch on both sides of Seffrood’s casket during the visitations, rotating their watch every 15 minutes.
On Monday morning, the honor guard assisted as pallbearers, as did two of Seffrood’s grandsons. After the Mass, the funeral procession traveled with Seffrood east on Business 190 as he left his beloved city for his interment at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. Following a ceremony with full military honors, a meal was held at the Holy Family Catholic Church hall, to which all were invited.
Seffrood had just been reelected to a second three-year term as mayor on Dec. 11. Prior to being mayor, he served on the city council for 6-1/2 years.s before being elected mayor in 2015.
Seffrood leaves behind his wife, Rita, of 55 years, and three children and three grandchildren. Born in southern Wisconsin in 1939, Seffrood served 23 years in the United States Army, retiring in 1979. He held an associate’s degree in computer programming and a bachelor’s degree in information systems. After his retirement from the military, he worked for Central Texas College from 1980-1986 and the United States Postal Service from 1986-2010.
With the mayor’s position being vacant, next up for the city council is a special election for mayor. There has not been a date set for the election, with the council to discuss it at an upcoming meeting.
At the most recent city council meeting on Jan. 3, during announcements, several members of the council along with Interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah talked about Seffrood and his dedication to the city of Copperas Cove.
“It really shows in this community how much he was loved, with the number of people who have contacted me directly or indirectly. Our Mayor Seffrood was passionately committed to our community,” Haverlah said. “In the eight years I have known him, he has been to nearly every event that he needs to be at. He is on post, on Fort Hood, when retirees are retiring. In fact, in October when you’re supposed to honor the retirees, they honored him, because he’s the only mayor who attends every single one of those retirement ceremonies. He attended every regional meeting that he is appointed to.
“I can say I’m going to miss him. I’m going to miss him sitting next to me up here. As a public servant to our community, I can say I truly loved him and he will be greatly missed.”
Mayor Pro Tem Dan Yancey reflected on Seffrood’s heart for the community.
“Frank was, without question, a go-getter. He did a lot. He represented Copperas Cove the very best that he could, and at 79 years old, many of us didn’t come close to having the energy that he had,” Yancey said. “When he found out that he had a terminal illness the day before the runoff election, they told him he had three to six months to live. But he was going to be here…that didn’t happen for him, but we’re here, and the best that we can do is to work for the best of Copperas Cove because that’s what Frank wanted.”