Region 8 Remembers Fallen Hero

March 24, 2005 – Posted at 5:44 p.m. CST

CLARKTON, MO -- Law enforcement in Region 8 buried one of their own Thursday.  Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant Carl Dewayne Graham, Jr. was found shot to death March 20th at his home in Van Buren.

Graham had been with the Highway Patrol since 1993 and is survived by his parents and four-year-old son.

Thursday, law enforcement officials from Missouri, Illinois and as far away as California gathered to pay their respects to the fallen officer. He was laid to rest at the Stanfield Cemetery in Clarkton.

"Dewayne was a character. He was fun loving, and always had a smile. He was an individual that you only had to meet him once to know him," said Dennis McGinely, "He always left a lasting impression."

"The thing I remembered most about him is that he always had a smile on his face," said Cpl. Roger Stottlemyer, Superintendent of the Highway Patrol, "He faced life with a smile and a very positive attitude and that's what I'll remember most about him."

A community of more than 500 law enforcement members paid their respects.

"I think we all know that when we choose this profession and you don't necessarily look at it in that kind of way, you just know that that is part of it. You have that risk involved," said Cpl. Stottlemyer.

Family members recalled favorite memories.

"The day that he took me for a ride in his patrol car, and notified me of a decision that he had made making Christ his personal savior," said McGinely, "That is the most memorable thing that I will keep from Dewayne."

"I guess you expect that almost, the out pouring of love and people wanting to be there to show support for law enforcement officer that has given his life in the line of duty," said Cpl. Stottlemyer.

A memorial fund has been set up for Sgt. Graham's four-year-old son Hayden. Donations can be made to The First Midwest Bank, P.O. Box 129, Van Buren, Missouri, 63965.