A sheriff’s deputy from Illinois was recently honored in more ways than one following his tragic and sudden death on March 14, 2019.
The Associated Press reported that 35-year-old Deputy Jacob Keltner was fatally shot by a suspect during a standoff situation. Deputy Keltner had been with McHenry County Sheriff’s Office for over 12 years.
“Jake was a fine young man who leaves a wife and two young children,” Sheriff Bill Prim told the Associated Press. “We are going to miss him.”
It’s clear Keltner had a huge impact on his colleagues and those in the community. A police car processional escorted the fallen officer to Winnebago County Coroners Office following his passing.
“We saw you,” McHenry County Sheriff’s Office shared on Facebook. “We saw the groups standing out in the cold with their blue line and American flags waving. We saw the men, women, and children standing at attention.”
The Sheriff’s Office went on to share how people even got out of their cars to stand and honor Keltner. Dealerships flashed lights and people came out of businesses to pay tribute.
Keltner’s wife, Becki Keltner, shared a heartfelt and moving letter with the sheriff’s office. She called her husband a “cop’s cop” and said he was an “amazing dad” and husband who loved his job and the Chicago Cubs.
“There are no words to sum up a man who meant so much to me and so many others,” Becki wrote. “My only wish is to have a world where we stop hating each other.”
Deputy Keltner has been remembered and honored in multiple ways since his passing. One touching tribute has been captured at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Rockford.
“In honor of Deputy Jacob Keltner, our Fallen Hero table will remain set this way until he is laid to rest,” Texas Roadhouse-Rockford wrote on Facebook. “We send many prayers to his family, friends, and colleagues.”
A table with a turned in chair and single rose stood alone in the corner — just one small way this business could show their respects and appreciation.
It is not known whether the fallen officer frequented this restaurant. According to McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, many businesses have done the same thing, setting aside a table until after the funeral in honor of Officer Keltner.
Our hearts go out to the family and other loved ones at this time. If you’d like to make a donation to the Keltner family, you can send it to McHenry County Sheriff’s Office at 2200 N. Seminary Ave, Woodstock, IL 60098.
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