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Eddie Dean Key Salter, a beacon of love and faith, passed away peacefully on December 21, 2023, in Newville, Alabama. Born on July 16, 1948, in Halesburg, Alabama, Eddie Dean's life was a testament to the power of kindness and devotion. She embodied the spirit of community and service, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who knew her.
Eddie Dean was the cherished matriarch of a family that adored her. She was the loving mother of Melissa McNealey and Contine (John) Kinsey, and a guiding light to her grandchildren: Bartavious (Elizabeth) Salter of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Deidra (Brashaad) Taylor of Atlanta, Georgia, Corey Salter of Headland, Alabama, Jalyn (Shareka) Salter of Dothan, Alabama, Heaven McNealey of Dothan, Alabama, Derrick Francis of Haymarket, Virginia and her fourteen great-grandchildren; her very special friend: Alex C. Lingo, Jr., and his son: Daryle Warren; her sister: Elizabeth (Bill) Folston of Rockledge Florida and brother: Rochester Key of Headland, Alabama, along with her three sisters-in-law: Lillie Mae Salter of Newville, Alabama, Corrine Salter, Headland, Alabama, Sara Fain of Atlanta, Georgia, and Gloria Key of Atlanta Georgia; twelve nieces; sixteen nephews; a multitude of great-great nieces and nephews; a special niece: Victoria Thompson of Headland, Alabama; a special nephew: George (Vanessa) Key; special friends: Ruth Hughes, Patricia Jackson, and Deborah (Ward) Graham of Newville, Alabama; will all hold precious memories of Eddie Dean who felt the warmth of her love and the strength of her support.
An alumna of Rosenwald High School in Newville, Alabama, Eddie Dean's commitment to education was the foundation upon which she built a life of purpose and generosity. Her dedication to her faith was unwavering; she served the Oakey Grove Methodist Church and First Missionary Baptist Church with a fervor that inspired all around her. Eddie Dean's work at West Point Stevens was marked by the same dedication she gave to every endeavor until she retired due to disability.
Eddie Dean's legacy is one of unconditional love and service. Known affectionately as the Newville Community Mother, she nourished not only the bodies but also the souls of her community. Her home was a haven, her kitchen a place of fellowship, and her presence a source of comfort. She lived by the principle that actions speak louder than words, demonstrating her love through a lifetime of selfless acts.
As a motivational speaker would remind us, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." Mahatma Gandhi's words resonate with the life Eddie Dean led. She found her purpose in caring for others, and in doing so, she found the greatest joy. Her life was a living example of Gandhi's philosophy, one that encouraged us all to give more, to love more, and to be more.
Eddie Dean's spirit of generosity and faithfulness will continue to live on through the countless lives she touched. She was a woman who embodied the virtues of loving-kindness and faith-filled service. Her memory will serve as a guiding star for those who seek to make the world a better place, one act of kindness at a time.
In celebrating Eddie Dean Key Salter's remarkable life, we are reminded that the true measure of a person is not in the wealth they accumulate, but in the love and service they give to the world. Her story encourages us to lead with compassion, to serve with dedication, and to love without reservation.