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|Smith remembered for fairness, work ethic|
Friends and family laid to rest Wednesday one of the most respected men in the law enforcement community.
Ouachita Parish Sheriff's deputy Joe Smith, 78, died Saturday. His funeral was held Wednesday afternoon at Kilpatrick Funeral Home in West Monroe. He was buried in his hometown of Bernice at Pine Grove Cemetery.
Former Ouachita Parish Sheriff Richard Fewell knew Smith since his days as a Louisiana State Trooper.
After he retired from State Police, former Ouachita Sheriff Laymon Godwin hired Smith.
"He was a very good employee," Fewell said. "It's unusual because you never heard any gripe against him. You never once heard one complaint from the public or anyone else for that matter. He always did his job well.
"If every deputy was like him we wouldn't need any supervisors," Fewell continued. "He would be at work real early and leave late and you never once heard him complain. He just loved his job.
"Sometimes I would go in at 5 (a.m.) and see him there. There is no telling how many hours he worked overtime, but he never once asked for overtime. That was Joe.
"If he caught you speeding, you got a ticket. I heard he once gave his own mother a ticket for speeding. I don't know if that's true or not, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit."
Fewell described his friend as a very religious man and family-oriented.
Smith could have retired more than a decade ago.
Yet, he refused to hang up his uniform.
He never missed a day of work, Fewell said. Even in recent years when his health was poor, Smith would still be there to do his job.
"I always admired and respected that man for who he was and what he did," Fewell said.
Smith was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps 1st Division. He fought in the Korean War.
He retired from Louisiana State Police, but continued his work in law enforcement as a Ouachita Parish Sheriff's deputy until his death.
The Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Honor Guard served as pallbearers at Smith's funeral.