Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Lonnie C. Coburn

Hernando County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Tuesday, February 21, 1978

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Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Lonnie C. Coburn

My name is Terry L. Clinch. My family and I met Lonnie just one time. It was December 24, 1976. My parents had recently retired and moved to Hudson, Florida. At that time we lived in Nebraska but having a pilot’s license, we decided to make the flight with our two small daughters to surprise my parents on their first Christmas in Florida.
The closest airport to Hudson was Hernando County Airport so that’s where I landed. I needed to find a phone to call my parents to come get us. It was dark and I saw a porch light on a nearby house so I went to the door. Lonnie came to the door.
After I told him my story he said, it would be a much better surprise if we just showed up rather than call them and that he would be more than happy to take us. I was surprised but very grateful and accepted his generous offer.
We unloaded the plane into his car and my wife and two daughters, 7 & 4, and I got in. Lonnie drove us the 25 miles to my parents and then home, 50 miles total. He wouldn’t accept any compensation.
When he died my mom called us with the terrible news. We were devastated. He was such a kind and generous young man and died a true hero.
We feel blessed to have met him, if ever so briefly. He touched our hearts and we will never forget him.
Incidentally, we have since retired and now live in Hudson as did my parents.

Terry L. Clinch

March 18, 2023

Lonnie was my dad's partner. I was born 2 years after he passed away. Grew up hearing stories.

Amy Everett

March 9, 2020

Rest in peace Deputy Sheriff Coburn.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

February 21, 2020

The Sheriffs of Florida and their deputies will never forget the sacrifice you and your family made to uphold our laws and protect society.

Your name has been inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs and the National Law Enforcement Memorial and in our hearts. May you forever rest in peace.

A scripture inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs Law Enforcement Memorial:

"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called the children
of God." Matthew 5:9

Executive Director Steve Casey
Florida Sheriffs Association

August 20, 2016

Lonnie was my Brother-in law and a very dear friend. I will miss him forever. He lived at the County Airport and loved to fly. He always wanted to help the Sheriff Department to get a helicopter. So sad that it happened after his death with partial funding coming from a major drug bust at the airport discovered by him.

Bruce Jordan
Brother-in law

September 22, 2015

I met Lonnie back in 1977, while working at the Days Inn at Hi-way 50 & I-75. He was always happy, smiling, and I could tell he loved his job and his fellow officers or should I say brothers/friends.. They'd come in for their coffee and to just relax for a few minutes. It made me feel safe because of them being there, with their cars out in the lot. I know it had to stop anything bad from happening. I thank them for that. I've thought about him alot, I'm so sorry. I just happened to drive to the Circle K that day our car was searched and I was told why, wow, I was soo totally floored, cried got mad, so mad. I thiught of his family. Again I am sorry and hope you all know that he is not forgotten and soooo many others, like him.

Sheila (Humphreys) Winter
Desk clerk/cashier Days Inn Brooksvile Fl.-friend

February 28, 2015

Rest in God's loving embrace, hero. You will never be forgotten.

Retired Wisconsin L.E.O.

July 23, 2014

Deputy Lonnie Coburn and I grew up in brooksville fl, I was his Srg when he was killed. He came duty about 1820tt. hrs and I went home. After talking to him on the radio. Telling him if he needed me to call me. About 1930 hrs he was shot to death by two criminals who that had killed a young mother to be. My friend was gone. To day the state took the killer off death row. 38 yrs later. 3 young people murdered. In 3 hrs. I'll never forget that cold night. The chill that came over me. When Shreiff Kelly spoke over the radio. Number 16 is sig 7! Old Deputy's never die the just regroup in heaven!! Rip Brother. See u soon. L. T. JeffDuval Ret.

L. T. Jeff Duval
Gulf Co. SD. Ret. 5 28 14.

May 28, 2014

I never knew you but I feel like I know you. I was a Dunedin, Florida police officer with Officer David Allen (deceased).
Dave spoke more than once with me about being best friends with you and about your untimely death. He shared some stories with me and never failed to show me the set of handcuffs he carried with him till his retirement. He said they belonged to you and that your mother gave them to him after your funeral and ask him to carry them throughout his career for Lonnie. I can verify he did just that until he retired from Law enforcement. You are never forgotten Brother...


Retired Deputy Sheriff
Pinellas County Florida Sheriff's Office

May 28, 2014

HEROES live forever, and you sir are a hero. Continue to rest in peace Deputy Coburn.

Deb Azure
Mother of Deputy Renee Danell Azure
EOW 08/06/02
Union County SO, Lake Butler, FL

February 21, 2013

Just today my niece was hired by the HCSO. My thoughts immediatly went back to Lonnie. We had "dated" as kids. Even at that age everyone knew Lonnie would go on to do great things.He truly loved his family and friends.Before 911 service was available, I worked for Southern Bell as a telephone operator. We received the emergency calls back then and I'll never forget when the call came in that a deputy had been shot. It was a small town then and everyone knew one another.We were all in shock and could only wonder who it was. About an hour later I was told to go to the front door of the office. My Mom and Daddy had come into town to tell me it was Lonnie. RIP my funny,beautiful will never be forgotten.

Resident of Brooksville, 1970-78

March 7, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 34th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect and your memory will always be honored and revered. I pray for solace for all those who love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. Your family is in my heart's embrace. Thanks to your friends for sharing their memories of you through their reflections.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

February 21, 2012

We will never forget, continue to rest in peace Deputy Coburn. HEROES live forever, and your sir are a hero....

Deb Azure
Mother of Deputy Renee Danell Azure
EOW 08/06/02
Union County SO, Lake Butler, FL

February 21, 2012

Rest in Peace, Deputy Coburn. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

February 10, 2012

We will never forget those who gave their all to protect us. HEROES do live forever.. Continue to rest in peace Deputy Coburn.

Deb Azure
Mother of Deputy Renee Danell Azure
EOW 08/06/02
Union County SO, Lake Butler, FL


February 21, 2011

I saw this pop up today ODM and it brought back memories from when this happened. For me I was just beginning my LEO career at the time if this saddened incident and due to the small size of the counties at the time the news of this spread fast. May Lonnie's family know that he was never forgotten for his ultimate sacrifice. May God be with his soul and all of his family.

Inverness PD-Florida

March 18, 2009

Rest in peace brother.

Ofc. Michael Walker
Tallahassee Police Department

March 9, 2009

Today on the 30th anniversary of your death, we pause and say a prayer for those you left behind.
We remember this coming over the teletype that day as we were both employed at Riviera Beach Police Department in Florida at the time.
Rest in peace DS, you are not forgotten.
Chief John Roelandts (retired)
Deborah Roelandts (911 retired)
Oconomowoc Wisconsin

Chief John Roelandts (retired)
Town of Oconomowoc

February 21, 2008


Pat Van Den Berghe

February 12, 2008

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

October 2, 2007

I remember that day well. I will never forget hearing your voice call for help on the dispatch tapes. I started as a dispatcher at HCSO, and went on to become a Deputy Sheriff because of dedicated Deputies like you and your cousin Daryl Garman. I live by and pass that old convenience store where your life was taken, and reflect on the events of that night. The world is a better place because of your dedicated service. May you never be forgotten for all you did to keep this County safe. You have taught other Deputies and other Officers to always be alert. Nothing is "Routine". You will always be respected and loved.

Cpl. M. Maternowski (Retired)
Pasco SO

May 15, 2006

When I read this it reminds me not to become complacent. To always be aware of my surrondings. You will be in our prayers forever RIP.

November 3, 2005

I am a long time resident of Hernando county, having lived here 25 years. I did not know Lonnie, but I see his picture in the lobby of the S.O. everytime I go there, and hear many deputys talk of him. Lonnie is a hero in the eyes of everyone.

God bless the Thin Blue Line and officers like Lonnie, who gave all they had for us. Lonnie, you will live forever in our prayers and thoughts. GOD bless all of you that "Protect and Serve"!

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