A sheriff’s deputy has left a lasting impact on people after he passed away on March 7, 2019.
Deputy Jacob Keltner was on duty when he was fatally shot by a suspect trying to run away.
Deputy Keltner served with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office for more than a decade. His community grieved alongside his loved ones and those whom he worked with.
A local Texas Roadhouse displayed a heartwarming tribute to him throughout his funeral. They set up a ‘Fallen Hero table’ with every element showing something different: a salt shaker represents the tears shed and a lemon wedge is the hero’s bitter fate.
“We send many prayers to his family, friends, and colleagues,” the restaurant wrote on Facebook.
The most heartfelt tribute came from his wife Becki Keltner. A few days after his sudden death, she wrote a heartbreaking letter aiming to bring humanity back to her husband’s story.
“I am writing this letter because my husband, Jacob Keltner, should be remembered not as another statistic but as a man, a great man, who sacrificed his life to protect others,” she wrote.
Mrs. Keltner shared how they met, fell in love, and had children.
“I was so lucky to have found a love so good and a man worth spending my life with,” she added. Her open letter also highlighted her husband’s bravery, adventurous spirit, and love for the Chicago Cubs.
“He was a true patriot who wanted to protect the people of this country,” she continued.
“So I knew when he was selected for a position on the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, I couldn’t have stopped him from taking the job if I tried. I knew it was dangerous, but he was smart, strong, and great at what he did. I knew he would protect his fellow officers like he protected our family.”
However, the news she had prayed would never come arrived on March 7, 2019.
“Now I find myself a 33 year old widow; mother of two young boys who no longer have their daddy. It feels unreal. I have screamed. I have cried. Nothing can make this better,” she expressed.
She also explained that having to tell her children their daddy would never return was one of the ‘worst moments’ of her life.
Mrs. Keltner also said that even though being an officer’s wife had a lot of difficulties, she was very proud of her husband’s big heart for others.
“There are no words to sum up a man who meant so much to me and to so many others. My only wish is to have a world where we stop hating each other,” she added.
“He saw the worst of the worst every day but still had so much love in his heart. He was true and loyal. We all need to show each other love. Lift each other up. It’s the only way to stop the unconscionable madness.”
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