WACO, Texas (KWTX) Falls County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Jones was remembered Friday as a proud public servant and an avid outdoorsman who loved his family, hunting, fishing, riding his ATV and driving his Jeep.
Members of the Falls County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard carry the fallen deputy's casket out of the church after the service. (Pool photo)
“He lived life to the fullest,” Falls County Sheriff Ricky Scaman said in his eulogy to his fallen deputy.
Jones, 30, was struck and killed on a rainy afternoon a week ago as he helped assist a motorist on the side of an area highway in an accident that left Riesel police Chief Danny Krumnow grievously injured.
Jones was a four-year veteran of the Falls County Sheriff’s Office and was serving as the office’s K-9 deputy at the time of his death.
Three local K-9 officers and their dogs paid tribute during the service to Jones and his dog, Thor.
“I don’t believe I have ever met a happier person than Matt,” Scaman told the mourners who filled First Woodway Baptist Church Friday.
”Matt always had that infectious smile on his face, never was rattled by a call, and always remained calm and cool and collected.”
Jones, Scaman said, never backed down from a challenge and understood the nature of policing in a small community.
He took the job seriously and understood “that if it was important enough for the person to call in, it was important enough for him to do something about it.”
“Matt conducted himself and made decisions based not only on laws but also on common sense. This is something you just can’t teach,”Scaman said.
“Now it is time to bid farewell to a fallen brother a thin blue line friend to all, a loving husband, Son grandson brother and uncle,” Scaman said.
“Rest easy my friend you served us well now it’s our turn. We will take it from here.”
Family, friends and colleagues from around Central Texas, the state and the nation gathered to bid farewell to the deputy.
First responders and residents formed a procession at 7 a.m. Friday at the Falls County Courthouse in Marlin to caravan to the church for the service.
“We are sorry, we are sick and we have the heartbreak that we have a fallen person, but he will never be forgotten,” Marlin Lions Club Vice President Douglas Langston said as the residents and first responders gathered.
“This...shows that we do not ever forget and that we will be here for them no matter what,” Langston said.
After the service a long procession formed to leave the church en route to Gerald Cemetery at 3782 Bode Road near Elm Mott where Jones was laid to rest.
Members of the Falls County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard served as pallbearers.
Jones joined the sheriff’s office in August 2015 and was married two months later to his wife Courtney.
He and Krumnow were assisting the driver just before 2 p.m. Oct. 11 at State Highway 6 and County Road 109 south of Riesel when they were struck by a Mazda sedan that hydroplaned.
Krumnow remains in the Intensive Care Unit of Scott & White Medical Center in Temple and faces a long recovery.
The 100 Club Heart of Texas, a nonprofit formed to help families of fallen first responders, is accepting donations, which may be made online, to an account set up at any First National Bank of Central Texas branch, or by mail to the 100 Club Heart of Texas, PO Box 21990, Waco, TX 76702-1990.
More than 46 years has passed since the last time a Falls County deputy died in the line of duty.
On Aug. 21, 1973, Deputies Elbert Watkins and Dean Humphus were shot to death while trying to serve a commitment order.
(John Carroll and Christy Soto contributed to this story)