Mike Easterling

Mike Easterling poses with a group of Winter Haven High School cheerleaders Oct. 4, 2009, two days before his bid for a third term on the Winter Haven City Commission.

WINTER HAVEN – Former Winter Haven Mayor Mike Easterling died June 18 at age 83.

Easterling served the Winter Haven community in various capacities for more than 30 years.

Hired as water treatment plant trainee in 1979, Easterling was promoted to Public Services Manager in 1985, serving in that capacity until 1999.

The following year, Mr. Easterling was elected to the Winter Haven City Commission and, in 2002, was voted as mayor through 2006 by his peers.

Easterling was in office and had an influence on a number of important projects, including: construction of the Chain of Lakes Trail, the downtown bus station, the Winter Haven Public Library expansion and the new Winter Haven Police Department headquarters on Lake Silver.

Easterling was also active on the Polk Transportation Planning Organization board during his time in office.

The longtime public servant is listed as a “Notable Member” of the Winter Haven Kiwanis Club.

In 2009, Easterling lost to Steven Hunnicutt in an attempt to serve a third term on the commission.

After retiring, Easterling battled with skin cancer.

In response to the news of his passing, City of Winter Haven staff put out a statement reading: “Mayor Easterling was a special man who cared deeply about his Winter Haven neighbors, and his legacy as a public servant will long be remembered.”

Funeral services for Mike Easterling will be held in July, but family has asked that details for the services not be published.

Contact Charles A. Baker III at cbaker@d-r.media.

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