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A name I never got to call you in person, but am so proud of. I grew up not knowing you, hearing your voice, or seeing your face, but you were never forgotten. Mom continues to tell me stories of you, even now, 28 years later. I have learned of your strength (physical and in character), personality, sense of humor, care for others, and how much you loved those around you. I am told often that I closely resemble you in looks and personality. While we were never given the chance to know each other, I do my very best to carry on your legacy and make you proud. You see, besides being so physically strong, I am constantly told of your sense of humor and how well you cared for those around you. This concern for others was passed to me. I have worked hard to dedicate my time, education, and career to serving others. I am 3 months away from finishing with my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and I work as a child therapist in a nonprofit that offers counseling services at low to no cost to kids and families. I do my best to empathize and compassionately interact with those I come in contact with.
Though death has encountered you, I have done my best to honor you with my life, which has been so blesed. My heart breaks to know what I missed in knowing you, being loved by you, and being raised by you, but I was not left alone. From the moment of your death to even now, we have had a family of officers look out for us, officers that you knew like Chuck, to those who never knew you but know we are family of a fallen officer. We have been loved by this blue family. It will also bring you peace to know God brought a great man in to my mom's life who raised us as his own. He taught us to work hard, to have integrity, to laugh, and showed us what a Godly husband and father looks like. Though you were not there, we were not left alone. Krystal and I turned out well (at least I'd like to think so) and we have great husbands. Krystal has some awesome sons, your grandsons, who know they had a grandpa who was a police officer.
Dad, you are deeply missed, but not forgotten. I love you.
Kelsie Smith McLeod
August 30, 2016