I just received the news that our friend and hero retired DPD Detective James 'Jim' Robert Leavelle, whose 99th birthday was on Friday, August 23rd, has passed away today (August 29, 2019) after a fall this past Tuesday. Jim had gone to Colorado to be with family for his 99th birthday celebration. Rest In Peace old friend. You will be greatly missed.
I am grateful that I got to break bread with Jim just less than a month ago. This picture is from that lunch on Wed., July 31st.
Update: Yesterday afternoon (9.7.2019) I attended the funeral services for Jim. The church was packed. He was honored with a DPD Honor Guard, DPD Choir, DPD Motorcycle Escort and dozens of on-duty DPD Officers in addition to a large contingent of his immediate family and friends. Family members regaled the crowded sanctuary with tales from Jim's well-lived life that were amusing, funny, poignant and loving. The central theme of all the speakers was "Jim never met a stranger," because strangers quickly became friends--lifelong friends.The church was filled with them. Many of these lifelong friends were from his DPD family (me included) and others (from across the nation who set out to met Jim and became his friend). We all found it tough to say good bye to our friend. The legacy of this legendary good man lives on in the hearts and minds of thousands upon thousands of friends he made and the personal impact his life had on the heart of our nation. I entered the church with a heavy heart and left with one much lighter having celebrated the life of this incredible man.
May the Lord comfort all those who morn Jim's passing and give them peace. Jim is with the Lord.
There is more information about Jim's life on my previous blog: "Lunch With The Legend"