Source: Craig Kelly | The Lima NewsRAW VIDEO: Several area law enforcement officers form an honor detail Allen County Sheriff Jim Everett’s casket is escorted out of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Lima
LIMA — It had all the expected pageantry of a fallen law enforcement officer’s funeral, complete with a horse-mounted honor guard, bagpipers sounding the notes of “Amazing Grace” and the trumpets playing taps, the presentation of the folded flag and the three-volley salute breaking the reverent silence of the several hundred gathered around the gravesite.
Row upon row of officers stood at attention, some with closed eyes and clenched jaws as they struggled to maintain decorum despite their grief. As the ceremonies came to a close, the voice of an Allen County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher was slow and deliberate as the words echoed through the cemetery.
“This is a final roll call for Sheriff James K. Everett.”
It was a day of remembrance and tears as interim Sheriff Everett was laid to rest in Cairo East Cemetery after a funeral Mass at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church on Monday.
Nearly 1,000 people gathered at the church to honor Everett, remembering him not only as a beloved and respected member of the Allen County Sheriff’s Office since 1975, but also as a man dedicated to his family and his community. Throughout the service, Allen County Sheriff’s Office deputies rotated standing guard on either side of his casket, each moving with great solemnity in and out of position.
“To all of you who have gathered here and known Jim as a loving family man, I extend to you my deepest, heartfelt sympathies on behalf of St. Charles Parish,” the Rev. Kent Kaufman said during the service. “To all of the Allen County law enforcement, it has become so evident to me that you are way more than trusted co-workers and colleagues of Jim. You, too, were a family to Jim.”
Along with family, friends and Allen County public officials, several members of the Ohio law enforcement and first responders communities were represented at the funeral and subsequent procession to Cairo, the community he served as mayor from 2008 to 2015.
As Everett’s casket was escorted by pallbearers in and out of the church, every officer lined up surrounding the entryway, row upon row serving as an honor detail for the law enforcement veteran of more than 40 years.
In his eulogy, Kaufman acknowledged the shock that news of Everett’s Feb. 7 death brought to Allen County, as he had been sworn in as interim sheriff just one week earlier.
“The news of Jim’s death last Tuesday was not an easy message to receive,” he said. “We could hardly believe it then, and we scarcely believe it now. We have lost a valued and loved member of our community, and really, we are still trying to make some sense of this aspect of human life that is so difficult to understand.”
As the service concluded and embraces were shared, sheriff’s deputies began going back to their duties, directing traffic out of the cemetery and renewing its focus on ensuring public safety, this time without one of their own.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.