By DREW REEVES
RIDGEFIELD, WA (KPTV) — Family, friends, coworkers, and complete strangers gathered to remember the life of Sgt. Jeremy Brown.
Brown was killed in the line of duty while working as a narcotics officer on July 23. The Clark County sheriff’s deputy was killed by a man he was surveilling, Guillermo Raya Leon, according to deputies.
The impact Brown had on so many could be seen at Tuesday’s funeral.
“He was a rare person who left you feeling happier just by being in his presence,” said his friend and coworker John Horch.
Brown was 46 years old when he was killed, just days before his 47th birthday.
Thousands attended Brown’s funeral Tuesday and even more watched the Livestream from an overflow location.
“Jeremy was my everything. Those of you who knew him are thinking amen, mine too,” said Brown’s wife, Jill, during the service.
Brown’s family shared memories of the devoted father to the thousands of people who filled the Ilani meeting center.
“Jeremy did not just have the heart of a lion, he was a lion,” Jill Brown said. “There are very few lions in this world and walking with one of them is a gift for which we should be eternally grateful.”
“I know that siblings had a special bond, but I like to think that ours was exceptional,” said Brown’s sister Jules Savolainen.
His family described him as a man who put his heart and soul into everything he did.
They described one instance in which Brown decided he wanted to learn how to sail. They said the next week he had purchased a boat and was taking his family out on the water, picking up all his skills from watching YouTube videos.
While there was a celebration, there was also grief for the moments that will never come.
Brown’s three youngest children are all engaged and soon to be married. It’s a moment that Brown will never get to experience.
“He was to be my best man. He was to walk his beautiful daughters down the aisle,” said Brown’s son Gage Brown.
His family and friends are asking that Jeremy never be forgotten, so his legacy can live on forever.
“I’m not sure that many of us will complete in a lifetime what Jeremy completed in his 46 years. But I’m making that my goal,” said Savolainen.
The Brown family says that they are incredibly thankful to the community who has shown an outpouring of support during this difficult time.
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