Peel Funeral Home
STEWART EDWIN (ED) BLITCH, JR.
Stewart Edwin (Ed) Blitch, Jr., age 86, of Bonifay, FL, went home to be with his Heavenly Father on Thursday, April 23, 2020 under the care of the Bonifay Nursing and Rehab Center.
He was born November 22, 1933 in Raiford, Florida to Stewart Edwin Sr. and Sara Frances (Maddox) Blitch.
He was a graduate of Pasco High School, Dade City, FL and completed 2 years at Gordon Military Academy, now known as Gordon State College, in Barnesville, Georgia. He attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, before enlisting in the United States Army.
In 1956 he joined the Florida Highway Patrol and worked in south and central Florida until retiring from the Patrol in 1966. Trooper Blitch was assigned to President John F. Kennedy, as his escort, when the family spent time at the Kennedy estate in Palm Beach County.
In 1957, Ed met and married Neal, in Stuart, FL. The couple had two children, son, Edwin and daughter, Meri-Neal.
Ed and Neal began a 45-year career in the restaurant business, establishing Blitch’s Family Restaurant in Inverness, FL in 1968 and then in Bonifay, FL in 1979. The couple also owned and operated Blitch’s Western Store in Inverness for several years. Ed was elected and served as Mayor and City Judge during the years they lived in Inverness. He was also a Mason at Citrus Lodge 118 F & AM. He was an enthusiastic outdoorsman, an avid hunter and fisherman. He was recently recognized by the Florida State Genealogical Society as a Florida Pioneer Descendant, whose family settled in Florida before March 3, 1845, on which date Florida was admitted to the union.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Stewart Edwin, Sr. and Sara Frances (Maddox) Blitch, sister Mortie Jean (Blitch) Hanshaw and daughter Meri-Neal (Blitch) Carter.
Ed is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ada Neal (Ulmer) Blitch and son, Stewart Edwin Blitch III, wife Brenda of Bonifay, FL; sisters, Shirley Louise (Blitch) Boyett and Mary Ernestine (Blitch) Tye, Lakeland, FL; grandson, Benjamin Blitch, wife Jana, and great granddaughter Bella, Lynn Haven, FL; grandson, Brian Blitch and wife Kristin, South Bend, IN; granddaughter Scotti (Carter) Davis, husband Justin, great grandson, Carter and great granddaughter, Carli, Forsythe GA; and grandson Brett Blitch, wife Jakye and great grandson, Jonah of Greeneville, TN; along with many nieces and nephews.
A family Celebration of Life gathering will take place in May.