Floyd East Jr. was born in El Paso TX on August 14, 1969 to Gloria and Floyd East Sr. Gloria had three older children from a previous marriage. When Floyd was born his siblings asked their dad what mom had and Mr. East answered, “Your mom had a little Hippy,” because he was born with long blonde hair. So, from that day forward Floyd’s nickname to family and close friends was “Hippy”. Carmen says that between his long blonde hair and beautiful emerald green eyes, he certainly captivated all who were around him.
Most of Floyd’s adolescent life was lived in Northeast El Paso. He graduated from Andres High School in 1988. During his teen years he was a great supporter, then volunteer for Candle Lighters of El Paso, a 501 c 3 dedicated to helping children with cancer.
Floyd was very adventurous; he learned to Surf at a young age, and loved to scuba dive, even becoming a wreck diver. He loved to ride Ninjas and Harleys and just be one with the road. He was always tinkering with cars and rebuilt a 1965 Mustang Fast back. He loved cars, and any chance he had he’d watch the rebuild car shows on television and was a big fan of Chip Foose, car designer and star of Overhaulin.
He was an expert carpenter and turned the garage into a wood working shop. Floyd loved the outdoors so he decided he’d figure out how to make Adirondack chairs. They were so nice that people began asking him to make them custom chairs. Shortly before he went to Lubbock as a Texas Tech Police Officer he built two beautiful pergolas in the back yard and they serve as reminders of his love of the outdoors.
Floyd was a kid at heart and on any given day you would find him outside playing with the girls and their friends. He was always available to hear a kid out and offer support and advice. Kids were drawn to him and the house was always full of kids swimming and playing with Mr. Floyd.
Those who knew him always said he had the biggest heart. His number one priority was helping people. He was notorious for “doing without” so he could help someone in need. He’d fix anything and people knew they could count on Floyd to help. He once left his car in the middle of the street and ran out to help someone who was stranded. Strays could count on Floyd to give them a home, even if it meant asking for forgiveness from Carmen later because the zoo at home was growing again. Floyd always said he was a “jack of all trades and a master of none”.
Despite all of his jobs throughout the years his desire to be a policeman was always in the back of his mind and he finally found the opportunity to fulfill that dream. He entered the Law Enforcement Academy Program at El Paso Community College and worked tirelessly to complete the courses and pass the physical fitness tests. He had so much fun practicing scaling walls, especially when wet. He’d laugh and laugh as he slid down and would just shake the water off and try again. He completed the program and proudly graduated with class 73 and proudly began his career as a licensed peace officer in the State of Texas. He was hired by Texas Tech University Police Department. He knew police officers didn’t make much money but knowing he was out there helping the community and protecting the students at Tech made all the difference in the world to him. He was very proud to be a police officer even if his job took him 347 miles away from home. He’d drive 5 and a half hours to Lubbock, Texas from El Paso, Texas to work and would work his shift and come home for 3 days and back again. He loved his co-workers and the people of Lubbock and proudly wore his badge.
Floyd met the love of his life and soulmate, Carmen Schunior, when he was 5 years old. The families were great friends for years. They grew up together and were great friends and when they got to high school fate took them in different directions. Both Floyd and Carmen married other people and lost contact for many years. Carmen had two beautiful daughters from her first marriage. Floyd never had children of his own but raised his first wife’s 2 kids.
When they were both divorced, fate brought them both together again, at a family funeral. Carmen says that she was tending to her mother who was deaf and was trying to shush her when she heard a familiar voice behind her. Carmen describes the moment as, “peeing a little in my pants and I forgot I was at my uncle’s funeral. I don’t remember if they buried him or not”. From that moment on they were inseparable. They married shortly after and he became step-father to her two girls.
Family say that God didn’t give Floyd his own children because he was needed to be father to those children put in his life. He took the time to be a mentor, confidant, and example to his step children. He was always available to hold a hand, wipe a tear or give advice. He was firm when it was necessary and a jokester any time it was needed. You can see the fruits of his parenting in his step kids; they are responsible, respectful, loving, and confident young adults. To them Floyd was not a “step” anything he was just “dad”.
On a quiet night in October, Floyd left this world. He was fatally shot by a student, whom he swore to protect. He died doing what he loved, being a law enforcement officer. He lived his life to the fullest as expressed so eloquently by Hunter S. Thompson in Floyd’s favorite poem “Wow What a Ride”. Carmen always says that the poem was written with Floyd in mind.