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The city of Live Oak is mourning the untimely loss of former 20-year firefighter/assistant fire chief for the city, Tommy Cundiff, who was Live Oak Public Works Superintendent at the time of his death early Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Cundiff, 60, died at his home in Live Oak surrounded by his loving family after a two months battle with cancer.

"Of course, we are all very saddened with the passing of Tommy. He was a dedicated employee of the city, first as a firefighter for many years and then most recently as our public works director," said a saddened Live Oak Mayor Sonny Nobles.

Cundiff worked for the Live Oak Fire Department (LOFD) for more than 22 years as a fire fighter until 1999, rising to the position of assistant fire chief prior to his retirement. For many years Cundiff also worked as a building contractor locally. He returned to the city in 2003 as the city's first full-time code enforcement officer until he was promoted to public works superintendent. Cundiff was a certified fire inspector and was a graduate of the Florida State Fire College in Ocala. Cundiff was one of the first fire inspectors for the city of Live Oak.

"Tommy will be hard to replace, he was super," said Live Oak City Council President Bennie Thomas of Cundiff. "We hired him as a code enforcement officer. He got along with everybody, and this is just a shock to us," Thomas said. "Our heart goes out to the family. It's a big loss to our community. When you told Tommy to do something, he got it done," Thomas stated. "My phone never rang with a complaint on Tommy. I depended on Tommy when I wanted to get something done."

Cundiff moved to Live Oak in 1960 with his family and worked in the family business, Cundiff Brothers Feed Store, along with his family while he attended Suwannee High School where he graduated in 1965.

Cundiff is survived by his wife, Sue Cundiff of Live Oak; two daughters, Melissa Garrison of Live Oak and Tabetha Sturdivant of Palatka; two brothers, Henry Cundiff and Roy Cundiff, both of Live Oak; one sister, Mary Maxwell of Live Oak; four grandchildren, Kristen Sturdivant of Palatka, John T. Garrison and Kalli Garrison, both of Live Oak and Zack Sturdivant of Palatka.

Visitation will be held from 6 - 8 p.m.. Thursday, Nov. 2 at Harris Funeral Home in Live Oak. Funeral services will be held Friday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. at Westwood Baptist Church with interment to follow in Live Oak Cemetery.

Harris Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.

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