Thursday, July 1, 2010
Carol will be missed To know Carol Scruggs was to love her.
I first met her several years back when she worked for the Byhalia Police Department. I found out quickly that her big, beautiful smile was contagious.
There was little doubt that Carol loved law enforcement, loved Marshall County and its people and just loved life in general.
We can all take a lesson from her about love – love for our fellow man and love for the community where we live and work.
That’s just a few of the reasons why we’re all saddened by her tragic death. The Marshall County sheriff’s deputy was killed Friday about 7:30 a.m. in a one-car accident on Red Banks Road while en route to a call for help in the Slayden area.
I was in Tunica Friday for the Tri-State (Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee) Press Association Summer Convention. I had left Holly Springs at 7 that morning.
My day, as everyone else’s in Marshall County, suddenly turned to shock.
Pam sent me a text via cell phone at 9:20 a.m. – “Sheriff’s deputy wrecked; helicopter called.”
I exited the convention meeting I was attending because I was more concerned about what was happening back in my home county.
As newspaper people, we become very close to our law enforcement personnel. We depend on them for news, for advice, for help; they’re like family.
A text about 15 minutes later from my wife really stunned me – “Deputy died at the scene.”
About 45 minutes later Pam sent me another text identifying the deputy. I had to sit down on the nearest bench as my legs felt weak and tears filled my eyes. Fellow newspaper people attending the convention saw my reaction to the phone call, asked questions and offered their encouragement and support. They’ve all been through similar circumstances.
I immediately remembered the photo we ran in the newspaper on June 10 of Carol having fun at the “Jail and Bail,” a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society. I suddenly saw that big smile.
Carol was one of my favorites.
I can’t recall the last time I saw her. I think it was probably at a ball game earlier this year.
But I do know what happened when I saw her – the same as always. She smiled that special smile and gave me a hug – two things that immediately cheer folks up, including myself.
If I’d had a hard day at the office, it was nice to go to a ball game and see Carol. She was always full of good cheer.
She was no doubt a big part of the schools in our county. I saw her encourage children, laugh with children and get on to some children. But they all loved her – whether she was congratulating them or correcting them – and that’s because they knew she cared about their well being.
“She was keeper,” said her boss, Sheriff Kenny Dickerson. “She loved everyone. Even the people she had to arrest loved and respected her because she was a great professional at all times.”
Carol Scruggs will be missed by all of Marshall County but her influence will live forever.
Thanks, Carol, for sharing your love and, of course, your smile.
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