Henderson County (KYTX) -- A longtime former sheriff is being mourned by family and fellow lawmen. CBS19's Jaime Gerik spoke to people close to H.B. Alfred, nicknamed "Slick" about their friend following his death on Thursday.
When you ask them, the word "respected" comes out of the gate immediately.
"Slick was well-known here, well-liked," Ray Nutt, current Henderson County Sheriff, said.
Another colleague agrees. "He was well-respected by all law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. He was known all over," J.B. Smith, former Smith County Sheriff, said.
Smith proudly worked with "Slick" the Texas Ranger for 40 years.
"He was a very unusual character. Number one, he was an outstanding investigator. Every sentence, every word he said had a meaning to it," Smith said.
After retiring as a Texas Ranger, Alfred was elected Henderson County sheriff in 1988 where he served for 12 years. Smith says the good father and husband had a dry sense of humor.
"You better listen to every word Slick said, because if you didn't, he'd slip one in on you real quick," Smith said.
Sheriff Nutt took over as Ranger when Slick left the spot, and says Alfred wanted to serve the public."He was very demanding in the Sheriff's office, but he had a good heart. When Slick told you something, that's pretty much the way it was," Nutt said.
He adds Slick was the driving force behind getting a new jail in Henderson County over a decade ago, helping modernize the sheriff's office.
"He also brought some discipline to the office and organization," Nutt said.
According to friends, Slick had health problems for several years and passed away at the age of 80 Thursday at the Hospice of East Texas. They consider it, a great loss.
"I'm going to miss him something terrible. We've had a lot of good times together, we've traveled together and we've been to schools together," Smith said.
A lawman tough as nails who served as an example for those who followed him.
A memorial service in his honor will be Monday at 2:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Athens.