Groveton, TX (KTRE) - Family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers pause to say goodbye to Trinity County Sheriff Brent Lee, 58, who lost his life while on duty early Thanksgiving morning.
Funeral services were held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Groveton High School gymnasium. Brother Neil Kemper, the presiding minister, described how he admired the way Sheriff Lee had not become hardhearted and encrusted with hatred in spite of some of the people and situations he was exposed to, but he continued to show justice, love and mercy throughout his years. During his career in law enforcement he had worked as a state corrections officer and Livingston police officer.
Sheriff Lee was killed in an automobile accident while involved in a vehicle pursuit. His vehicle left the roadway, struck a utility pole and tree, and burst into flames at approximately 4:15 am Thanksgiving morning. He had been appointed in June to fill an unexpired term and had won the recent election for sheriff.
A retired lieutenant from the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission, Lee is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Ann Avery Lee; daughters & sons-in-law, Lisa and James Mullins and Patricia & Anthony Gee; son and daughter-in-law, Steven and Chandra Lee, Jr.; brother, Charles M. Lee, Jr.; brother and sister-in-law, Bennie L. and Linda Lee; 6 grandchildren, Cade & Cael Mullins, Rachel & Sydney Gee and Hayden and Abby Lee; numerous other relatives; and many friends.
In a memorial message posted on the county's website, Trinity County Judge Mark Evans wrote,
"It is such a tragedy. A great loss. Sheriff Lee has lost his life in the line of duty serving his county. Sheriff Lee was doing an excellent job. You could really see the positive changes that have been made in the department. I know myself and the Commissioners Court felt that he had really brought stability to the department. We couldn't have asked for a more cooperative attitude that what Sheriff Lee brought to his dealings with the Court. He brought a real sense of optimism for the future of Law Enforcement in Trinity County. I was really enjoying working with him.
On a personal level, I am really saddened that just as he realized a life-long dream of being Trinity County Sheriff, his life has been lost.. My sympathies go out to his wife and children. I especially extend my sympathy to his brother Bennie and sister-in-law Linda and his brother Charles.They were all so proud of him and that he had followed their father Dick Lee as Sheriff. I know what that means to them and that it was a family achievement. My thoughts and prayers are with them. He will be greatly missed. Not just for the job that he was doing as Sheriff, but the promise he held for the future."