East Texans Remember Officers Killed On The Job - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/18/05 - East Texas

East Texans Remember Officers Killed On The Job

by Ramonica R. Jones

The name of each Texas law enforcement officer who died on the job within the past year was called out Thursday. Four of those names belong to East Texans.

Don Willmon, John Logan, Trey Hutchison, and Byford Hunter, each died while protecting and serving their communities.

Byford's brother, Jyce Thomas, said, "I visited his grave site last year [and] there was a bouquet of flowers and a 'thank you' note for something he had done for somebody before his death. They came by to leave that 'thank you' note 20 years later; that's the type of person he was."

Byford Hunter was shot to death in 1982, after working several years with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office.

Don Willmon was also a sheriff's deputy. He was killed in 1979.

His wife, Diane Willmon, said, "It's wonderful to know that his sacrifice was not just ignored; that people still remember and care about what these officers did."

Willmon's untimely death didn't stop his nephew from heroically following in his footsteps. He became a sheriff's deputy less than a year ago.

"I feel like he's there with me," said Robert Willmon. "I mean, he's the reason why I'm here. The sacrifice that he made for the community, it just kind of put in me that maybe I could do something to help."

And bravery is one thing all law enforcement officers have in common.

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