Couple killed leaves hole in heart of South Walton community

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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - One area community mourns the sudden loss of a beloved couple killed in an accident two weeks ago.

Meredith Snow was a retired music teacher from Emerald Coast Middle School in Walton County.

"She had this beautiful dark, curly hair and she was in the hall every morning in front of the music room with her podium. Not a podium but her music stand," friend and colleague Jennifer Rhea said. "She became really sentimental about the kids and their devotion to pursuing music outside and I know students were concerned about Ms. Snow when she left the school. They wanted to continue having a relationship with her because they felt like she was the program."

Her husband Robert Brown, also known as Bob to most., was a leading influence in the start-up of Bote paddle boards in Miramar Beach.

Close friend and founder of Bote, Corey Cooper, said it all started one night at a bar with Bob and his brother Clint

"I was showing Bob some photos of the product and Bob was like, "dude, I'd be willing to make your website for you guys." He was like, "I really believe in what you're doing and I'd love to be part of it," Cooper described. "Funny enough it popped up on our time-hop eight years ago, when the accident happened, that was the night of him committing to do it. So it was pretty hard when it happened."

Those who knew them describe the pair as a loving couple who cherished making memories together.

In a nutshell, I think they lived for each other," Cooper said

"The two of them were positive, upbeat, active participants in the Walton County community and really lived life in the community," Rhea emphasized.

One of those cherished moments was scalloping.

"For those who know Bob, they know he loved scalloping. They both loved scalloping. Port St. Joe was a magical place for him from his youth," Cooper stated.

But August 31st, on the way to that magical place, their lives were cut short when another vehicle ran a red light and crashed into them.

"It was going to be one of the best weeks of the year for him and it's sad to know that happened on the way there," said Cooper.

Now, as the days and weeks go by, the community continues to cope with the loss of what many say were two very special people.

"Students drive by there every day, teachers drive by there every day," Rhea said." Life is short and you never know, so you just want to make sure you hug your family members and give your students that extra high five and encouragement they might need because you just don't know."

"There is not one moment. I can encapsulate my memory of those guys in basically an environment right. It would be Bob sitting on his back porch having a New Castle beer, smoking a cigarette in peace like he always would. Sneak out and smoke a cigarette, catching a redfish at sunset with Meredith beside him smoking a clove," Cooper said. "Without getting all emotional. They were two shining souls that set the high watermark for human greatness basically. And we're going to miss them greatly."

A celebration of life is planned for Sunday, September 16.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to Alaqua Animal Refuge, or any other animal rescue organization in the name of Bob and Meredith Brown.

A paddle out is also set for Saturday, September 15.