Funeral serves as final farewell for fallen deputy

JACKSON, Tenn. — Hundreds gathered Friday for a final farewell for fallen Madison County Deputy Rosemary Vela. With law enforcement agencies from across the state filling West Jackson Baptist Church Friday morning, some described Vela as “perfect.” “She just sparkled. I never saw her without smiling. She walked in the door smiling, she smiled when we were talking, she was just an exceptional young lady,” Judy Edgar said. Edgar works second shift in the communications office of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. She said she was the one who dispatched the call to Deputy Vela Monday night when her cruiser ran off the road in the fatal accident. Vela joined the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in April after spending nearly two years with the Crockett County Sheriff’s Office. “She belonged to Madison County, but we still laid claim to her,” Crockett County Sheriff Troy Klyce said. “It’s hard to tell us she’s not ours.” Many said Vela left a lasting impression and had a vibrant personality. Sheriff John Mehr said he received phone calls regularly from the community praising Deputy Vela through various encounters. Edgar said holding on to the good memories of Vela make the loss a little easier. “I always teased her about her name. I called her ‘Velveeta,’ and she would laugh,” she said. The funeral ended with a traditional 21-gun salute and final procession. The United States Honor Flag also was on hand at the funeral service.

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