Family, friends remember fallen Madison County Deputy Rosemary Vela

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Family and friends gathered to remember a fallen Madison County deputy, five years after she died while on duty.

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Deputy Rosemary Vela died in car crash while responding to a call in 2015.

Those closest to her said serving her community is what she always wanted to do.

“It shouldn’t be a sad day. She wouldn’t want us to be sad, or upset,” Rosemary’s cousin, Josh Ramirez, said.

“She just got out of bed one day, and said ‘I’m going to be a sheriff.’ She asked me if I mind, and I said ‘no, there’s your opportunity, take the career that you want,'” Rosemary’s mother, Maria Vela, said.

Family, friends, and Madison County Sheriff’s deputies gathered on the side of Highway 70 near Huntersville where Deputy Rosemary Vela died in a crash.

She left behind her family and her son.

“It still hurts, as if it just happened, especially because of my grandson, Jayden,” Vela said.

Family members said it’s a yearly tradition.

They prayed, had a moment of silence, and talked about Rosemary.

“She loved her job, loved her child, she was a good friend to talk to on a daily basis,” Ramirez said.

“She was very outgoing, she never met a stranger. If you were around her and she was having a bad day, you’d know it. If she was having a good day, you’d definitely know,” Rosemary’s aunt, Blanca Villalobos, said.

Family members remember her as someone who always stayed motivated in her career, parenting, and education.

“She was encouraging, regardless. She stayed positive regardless of the negativity that was going around,” Rosemary’s aunt, Mariela Terry, said.

“She’s where she’s at because she did what she wanted to do in her career,” Vela said.

Deputy Rosemary Vela’s name is listed on the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Vela is the first female deputy in Madison County killed in the line of duty.

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