Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Sheriff Matthew Haden Samuels

Greenwood County Sheriff's Office, Kansas

End of Watch Wednesday, January 19, 2005

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Reflections for Sheriff Matthew Haden Samuels

It's been a year just doesn't seem possible..I was home about a month or two ago to see my parents...and out of habbit i looked for you...then i realized...i didn't have to you were still there looking over everyone...I can't help but remember..when you'd come in the restruant..and mom would say "matt i'm gonna have to get you a bib, or tammy a supply of shout." ..and then you'd ask if i was stayin out of trouble..I'm still stayin out of trouble tammy, the kids, and the family close...they still need'll find your special way of letting them know your always did...

To the family..Tammy, Heath, thoughts are with you all still..and my were nothing but nice to me..and are still very much a part of our family..

Kami Browning

June 7, 2006

Matt, you are sorely missed by all Greenwood county residents, and those of us who are not living in Greenwood County anymore. It doesn't seem the same to go home sometimes, and not see you in your patrol truck cruising the county. I know that you are watching over all of the county sheriff's officers of the county now. Protecting them as you always did. I miss you my friend.

Jennifer Best, US Army
former Greenwood County Resident

May 24, 2006

Matt I can't wait to see you in Heaven. I love you like a familly member. I MISS YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!

Morgan Worthington
Good friend/duaghter of a sheriffs deputy

May 10, 2006

Somehow when we were in the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center 101st Academy Class together it never crossed our minds that it could be one of us on the Wall of Honor. Let alone one of the "4 Giants". The four of us big guys, Matt, Randy Lewis, Todd Ketchum and myself took a lot of razzing from the pups in the class. Matt especially for being "old fashioned" and shooting that revolver for qualifying.
I can still see the fellow "Bear" out there blowing the center out of the target. What a gentle natured big old likeable "Bear".
Though I haven't seen much of you since we graduated I think of you often abd I'm sorry we didn't get together like we promised. Life just happens. I miss you buddy..............we all do. Say howdy to Anthony V.
Love ya man!

Bill Jamison
Caney Kansas P.D. Ret.

May 4, 2006

We will be in Washington with honor and respect to hear your name read.

Linda Rittenhouse, Matt's Mom
Matthew Rittenhouse EOW 9/16/04

Linda Rittenhouse

May 2, 2006

Matt I miss you alot. I cry when I see your picture. I know if you were here you wouldn't want me to be sad. I still remember when you would sneek me into the break room and buy me candy and pop and then my mom would be mad at you because it was at 3:00 in the morning. I wish you were here and if God would give me just ONE wish I would wish that i had wings so I could come see you. You could always make me smile. I love you Matt.

Morgan Worthington
Good friend

April 16, 2006

Sheriff Samuels you are in my familys prayers. As i read some of the reflection's left for you it struck me how much you sounded like Dwight , I know he meet you at the gates of heaven.

Ann Woodrell
cousin of Sheriff Dwight Woodrell
eow 10-13-01

March 23, 2006

To Sheriff Matt Samuels and his loved ones:

On this the fourteenth month after your tragic death, please know that your memory is honored and revered today.

My heart goes out to your family. You’re in our thoughts and our prayers.
I hope to meet them in D.C.

Matt, you rescued us, saved our possessions, our lives and our families. You are one of the rare heroes among us. You were always there for us in the most traumatic moments of our lives. No matter when we called, we just expected that you would come and do whatever it took to help us, and you always met our expectations. Your selflessness and dedication are awe-inspiring.

This world, this country, your community truly are better places because of you. To have lost you is a great tragedy, an irreplaceable, immeasurable loss for society. We are grateful for and to you, and honor you for all you did for us day in and day out whether you received a word of thanks or praise.

Rest in Peace, Sheriff Matt Samuels. I am humbled by your valor, courage, and the way you led your life.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the distinquished service Matt gave to his community and the citizens of Kansas, and for the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on January 19, 2005.

Phyllis Loya, mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

March 11, 2006

Sheriff - your family - friends & co-workers are in my thoughts & prayers as they honor you 1 yr. later..please continue to watch over them & your fellow brothers/sisters in blue..YOU ARE GONE..BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN..REST IN PEACE & WITH EASE BLUE ANGEL!!!!

girlfriend of a dpd
detroit, mi

January 20, 2006

happy 1st birthday in heaven matt.

January 19, 2006

Thank you for the sacrifice you made one year ago today. You will never be forgotten and forever remembered as a hero. My thoughts and prayers are with your family on this anniversary.

Linda Lamm - LEO Wife and Sister of
Jay Balchunas EOW 11.05.04

January 19, 2006

Sheriff Samuels, just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you today, your first birthday in Heaven. You will never be forgotten.
To the family and friends my prayers are with you, I know that everyday is hard, but some are just harder than others, I just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you.

Connie Barker
Mother of Clint Walker E.O.W. 1-14-04

January 19, 2006

Sheriff you are not forgotten, today our shift will remember you and keep your family in our prayers. Brothers are not forgotten...they live on FOREVER!!!

K-9 Deputy Joseph A Young AU16
Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office

January 19, 2006

Sheriff Samuels, you are remembered with respect and gratitude for your selfless service to the community and your supreme sacrifice. You truly are a hero and will not be forgotten. Your family and department are in my thoughts and prayers as they commemorate the first anniversary of your death. I am very sorry that they must walk this painful journey.

Mary Kay Balchunas
Mother of Jay Balchunas, EOW 11/5/04

January 18, 2006

It will be one year that you were called away from duty. I know that year has been a long and tough road for your family and close friends. Watch over your loved ones and those still out on patrol. Wrap your wings around your loved ones to help relieve some of their grief. Their broken hearts may never mend completely, but they will never forget you, nor will the Blue Family. You are a true hero and will never be forgotten.

Bob Gordon, father of fallen officer Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

Bob Gordon

January 17, 2006

Matt I seen Sheriffs come and go but none have touched my heart as you did. I will always have the utmost respect for you and your family. I hope all the officers in your department never forget what you taught them and always treat the people of Greenwood county with the utmost respect. I will never forget you. you was my friend, my Idol and my brother.

Kendel Bartholomew Undersheriff

January 15, 2006

The tragic news of Matt Samuel's death hit me especially hard. Kansas has not had many line of duty deaths and it was so hard for me to believe it happaned in lil' ol Greenwood county. Every single time I hear about a line of duty death I break down into tears. I fell as if I've lost another family member.

To the family of Matt Samuels, I am hurting right there along with you. Thank you so much for your sacrafice. May God comfort you always.

Wichita Kansas Police Department

December 27, 2005

Happy holidays Matt.. you are missed .. like your cousin said, it doesn't seem like a year

LYSO Kansas

December 18, 2005

WOW, I cannot believe it has been almost a year since that tragic day occured. Matt was a good man with a good heart. He would do anything for anybody. He was a great inspiration to many of us. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of him. He will truely be missed.

Bryan Mead

December 14, 2005

To the family of Sheriff Matt Samuels I want to say I am sorry for your loss. As I was looking over the names of all the officers killed your husband's name stuck out at me. My maiden name is Samuels, for I do not know your family nor did I know Sheriff Samuels but my prayers are with you. May God Bless you

Shalon Samuels Coleman
Stanardsville Virginia

December 5, 2005


We think of you and your family during these holidays, and offer thoughts and prayers as you celebrate without your loved one. Cherish the memories of the past and be open to new ones with your loved ones and friends. Your loved one will never be forgotten and always honored for their sacrifice.

Alissa Scott
Widow of Wayne Scott
E.O.W. 09-10-02

Lisa Schultz
Widow of Don Schultz
E.O.W. 05-12-03

Co-Founders of Survivor Help Network

November 29, 2005

I had the honor of meeting Matt personally only a few times. He was a dear friend of several persons close to me. I met Matt in October of 2004 at a gathering of mutual friends. Within minutes of meeting him I felt as though I had known him for a long while. I joked with him about just moving to the area and needing a job. He told me he couldn't offer much but he would help me out all that he could. Over the course of the next few months I had the opportunity to spend more time with Matt as well as his wife Tammy. I immediately became aware of just how wonderful of people they were. I have never known a man that was better respected nor had the respect that Matt did for all persons. He was a devoted family man, sheriff and a true asset to society. On the day of Matts funeral I was overwhelmed by the honor that this man had. For one person to have touched so many lives I knew that in some way I had been touched by having the opportunity to meet him that October day. I soon found out that I was blessed with a pregnancy, conceiving in October. Soon after the funeral, while trying to choose a name for my baby, and knowing that I wanted a strong name, I thought there is no name stronger than Matthew Hayden Samuels. So in July my daughter Haidyn was born. I will raise her to know that she has alot to live up to!

Jennifer and Haidyn Mackey

October 15, 2005

I send our condolences from Smith County SO to the family of Sheriff Samuels. Thank you for your sacrifice Sheriff Samuels. I didnt know Matt, but I know the type they are called heros.

Rest in peace

Deputy/Chief Jailer Ryan Allen
Smith County Sheriff's Dept.

September 21, 2005

Matt was a person that everyone could count on when they needed someone to talk to. Love and miss you Matt.

Friend /Janessa Jones

September 17, 2005

Eulogy for Matt Samuels

I never thought that this moment would come as we all grieve the loss of Matt; a husband, father, brother, hero, friend, buddy, and a Sheriff. I ask myself, why did this have to happen? Then I come to the realization that God must have needed a good Sheriff in Heaven. Matt was known as a courageous man who always kept his word. Matt was a man of strong integrity, he was caring, sympathetic, compassionate, always fair, trustworthy and never unnecessarily aggressive. He was a symbol of selfless humanity. Matt lived to be the Sheriff and he died being the Sheriff. He was a respected, working Sheriff who led his deputies by example. Matt was a mentor for children, adults, other law enforcement officers, and administrators. Matt was a non-judgmental person who was well known for teaching his Deputies how to treat people regardless of how they looked or how they treated you first. He had a natural ability to gain the trust of people, even strangers, and he had a lot of pride in doing this. I can remember after the election this past November, he called me after the votes were counted, saying there was only one person in the election that got more votes than he did, and that was the county clerk. Though he was quick to say that she only got more votes because she was better looking than he was. Matt was a trophy of what a public servant should be. Matt your watch is over, we’ll take it from here. Your memory will never fade as you patrol the streets of heaven.

I think I admired Matt the most for his strong values and dedication to being a husband and a dad. The qualities that most of us have to strive to achieve, came naturally to him. Matt was very proud of his family and what they have become. In fact the three things in Matt’s life that he was the proudest of were Tammy, Heath, and Sharlee. Tammy once told me a story of how they had decided to start a family shortly after they married. Tammy said that Matt went all over town telling his friends and family that they were having a baby. After being congratulated on her pregnancy she had to clear things up by explaining that she wasn’t pregnant, they had just recently decided to start a family. Matt enjoyed hunting, fishing, and golfing. Although I think he enjoyed the camaraderie as much as he enjoyed the actual sport.

Matt’s idea of a stranger was just a friend that he had never met. He never advertised the fact that he helped so many people in so many different ways. He never talked about his numerous acts of kindness. Yet I believe that almost everyone here today has been at the receiving end of that kindness. Matt lived his life to the fullest every day. He was upbeat and constantly looked for the positive side in every person or situation. Matt lived a life of no regrets. I will miss him most of all as a friend because good friends like Matt don't happen often in a lifetime. I will especially miss his awnryness. I remember this past October was my sons first birthday. Matt gave him a package of little green army men for his birthday. When I asked him what a one year old was going to do with army men. He told me that I wasn’t a real dad until I walked across the room in the dark and stepped on army men.

I regret that the time alotted us here today does not allow us to share all of the many wonderful stories about how Matt’s great sense of humor has brightened our lives, however we should always cherish all of these wonderful memories in our hearts to keep his legacy alive forever.

Matt, having no choice we part from you, our hero and ask that you rest in peace, that you think about us and miss us because we here, down below will miss you and love you so much.

August 19, 2005

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