LIMA — Hundreds of people gathered Sunday night to pay their respects and honor the life of Interim Sheriff Jimmy Everett during a service at Lima Central Catholic High School.
Many more attended visitation throughout the day shedding tears, sharing stories and joyful moments in the life of the beloved sheriff who was best known in the community for his 40-year career in law enforcement but also as a friend to many, a family member and just a good man.
A wake service was held followed by a Fraternal Order of Police memorial service.
One of Everett’s stepsons fought back tears as he spoke of the man who was like a father to him.
“Jim was the rock for my mom for 20 years and I loved him,” the stepson said as he broke down with emotion and tears. Everett’s wife, Pam, embraced him in a big hug that brought tears to many in the audience.
A nephew spoke of a fond memory with the man he knew as his uncle first. He said his uncle rarely spoke of his job but one day when the family was together Everett started talking about investigating a case.
“Jim was having a great time. Jim never really talked about work. For whatever reason this particular night he was,” the nephew said.
Everett continued talking about the process of elimination for suspects in a case. He then turned what initially seemed like a serious talk into a joking matter by telling them which refreshments were his and which ones were not through the process of elimination, the nephew said.
Lima Police Department Maj. Jim Baker served as a chaplain for part of the service asking for prayers for strength and help for Everett’s family.
“We say thank you, thank you from the bottom of our heart to have such a true servant of god,” Baker said.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 21 Vice President Darrell Ball spoke of the officer everyone knew.
“Our brother’s memory will forever be dear to us,” Ball said.
After the service the new interim sheriff appointed after Everett’s death, Matt Treglia, walked up to Everett’s casket draped in the American flag and placed a white carnation on a table in front of the casket. Above the casket was a large portrait of Everett in his uniform, the American flag over his right shoulder.
The American and Ohio flags were to the left of the casket and the Fraternal Order of Police and the FOP memorial flags to the right.
Treglia saluted Everett, who not only was his boss but his best friend. Treglia then walked away as groups of three deputies followed with carnations and salutes for their leader.
Staff members at the Sheriff’s Office also placed carnations on the table. They were followed by law enforcement officers from many other agencies across Allen County to place carnations on the table and salute a man they not only knew as a brother in uniform but as a friend.
There also were retired officers and deputies who worked with Everett through the years, all there to pay their respects.
Members of the audience were then allowed to walk up and place a carnation on the table and pay their respects to the sheriff.
In the back of the room were poster boards with pictures of Everett throughout his life from childhood to recent years. In many pictures, Everett was in uniform, which not only was his job but his life.
Everett’s funeral Mass will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Charles Catholic Church followed by a procession to Cairo East Cemetery where Everett will be laid to rest. There will be a three-volley salute at the cemetery followed by the playing of taps and the final roll call for the beloved lawman.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.