September 26, 2006 - Posted at 3:45 p.m. CST
Trumann, AR - Cecil Bryant Richardson, more commonly known as "Jackie", was one of two victims in this weekend's flooding of the Spring River.
"He was in a tree and holding on and he was complaining of chest pains and thought he was having a heart attack. They said he held on as long as he could. We were actually there when he went into the water, but there was nothing we could do."
Fire Chief Lonnie Phelps led a search team and over 200 volunteers through the mud and water of the Spring River. The body of 55 year-old Jackie Richardson was found just before noon on Monday.
Tuesday, friends and family looked back at what Jackie left behind.
"He's just a great guy! A good cop, he was a good friend, always smiling and really helped anyone who needed it, you just had to holler."
Jonathan Skaggs grew up in Trumann and joined the Police force while Jackie was still there.
"He was like one of the guys that I wen to when I needed to know something, or a question. He would always look out for me, you know?"
Jackie was a vital part of the Trumann Community. He was on the Police Force from 1993-'98, before that he was a volunteer fireman for the Trumann Fire Department. He was also a member of the American Legion and a handy man for anyone who needed him. But most of all he was a Dad and a Grandfather, but not only to his own family...some say to the whole community.
"There were a lot of people who called him grandpa. He was just a great guy, always wanting to do something. And anytime there was a Christmas Party or Parade, he was the Santa Clause. And he fit the part, he had an authentic beard and belly to go with it."
Fire Chief Rick Winkles remembers his hunting buddy and friend as someone who would help anyone no matter what.
"He was just great to everyone and always had a smile on his face. And that's what we'll miss the most. His smile, the way he talked and laughed. He was just a great guy and he will be missed."
Jackie was not only a fixture in the community, but at a table at Couch's Bar B-Q, they call the "gossip table", or the "liar's table". Friends there told us he was always there talking about what was going on around town, who needed help, or just the gossip of the day.
The streets of Trumann are bustling with stories and memories Jackie Richardson, a member of the community and a friend.
Visitation will be at Thompson's Funeral Home in Trumann Wednesday night from 5-8 p.m. Funeral Services will also be at the Funeral Home on Thursday at 2 p.m. followed by Grave-Side Services at Pine Hill Cemetary in Jonesboro.