The City of Thomson lost one of its finest this past weekend. Former long-time police officer John Love passed away on Sunday at Doctor's Hospital at the age of 74.
The York, S.C. native enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 18 and retired after 22 years and two tours of duty in Vietnam at the rank of sergeant first class. During his service, he earned the good conduct medal and the bronze star with the oak leaf cluster.
After his retirement from the military, Mr. Love joined the Thomson Police Department where he served for more than 20 years until he retired, once again in the early 1990s. Thomson Police Chief John Hathaway fondly remembers serving along side Mr. Love.
"He was a super guy. You couldn't ask for a better man to work with," Chief Hathaway said. "He would always come to work on time, always come ready to work, always acted like he was glad to be here. ...You'd just love to have a whole department full of people like John Love."
His other co-workers and former bosses felt the same way about Mr. Love. Retired General DeWayne Patrick - who served as Thomson City Administrator during Mr. Love's tenure with the TPD - had nothing but positive things to say about his former employee.
"He was the most efficient and professional law enforcement officer that we had there in my early time there with the city," he said. "He was very kind, and considerate of all, just a superb police officer, particularly for a small town like Thomson. He was respected by all that knew him."
Funeral services for Mr. Love will be held today at 2 p.m. at the Fishing Creek Baptist Church in York, S.C. Rev. Reginald McClean will officiate the ceremony. Burial will follow at Lakeview Memory Gardens with full military honors.
He is survived by three sons, one sister, seven brothers, two aunts, 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren as well as other relatives and friends. Viewing and visitation was held at noon Wednesday at the Thomson Funeral System on Martin Luther King, Jr. Street in Thomson.