"We Lost a Great Man": Police Chief Lee Dixon Remembered at Fune - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

"We Lost a Great Man": Police Chief Lee Dixon Remembered at Funeral Service

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(KCEN) -- It's been a week since a central Texas police chief was shot and killed by an armed suspect. And Thursday, the community came together to remember his service, and his sacrifice.

The memorial was full of tears, but through that, a few laughs. Hundreds gathered to share memories, and to honor Little River-Academy’s police chief.

Lee Dixon spent years in law enforcement.

“We lost a great man,” Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange said. A man who gave all for his friends and family in Little River-Academy.

“He felt like that was home to him,” said Milam County Sheriff David Greene. And Thursday, his home honors him.

“Lot of tears … broke loose there,” Shawn Moore said after the funeral service at Temple Bible Church.

Moore has known Dixon for years. The two met when the police chief was going out for Temple's Masonic Lodge.

“He was a stand-up guy,” said Moore. “I don’t think he would meet anybody that didn't always have a smile on their face and a positive note.”

It was always a genuine smile, always real positivity.

“He loved life. He loved life to the fullest,” Reverend Steve Taylor said at the service. And Dixon’s community loved him.

“His integrity and his morals were impeccable,” said Greene. “I just can't say enough about the man.”

Originally from Abilene Dixon graduated the Temple College Police Academy and spent time at the Belton PD and the Milam County Sheriff's Office before returning to Little River-Academy earlier this year.

“There's been a tremendous outpouring of support from everybody,” said Lt. Donnie Adams with the Bell County Sheriff’s Department. “We're having officers here from across the state turning up.”

Officers as far away as Chicago were in Temple to sign Dixon's guest book, all with badges covered with black and blue, all to pay their respects, and to remember the man as he lived.

“I think Lee, in his way, would have loved it. He'd have probably said, ‘Now y'all need to get back to work,’” Moore said with a laugh.

What shined through the most during the memorial service was chief lee Dixon's love.

"A man that loved life,” Taylor said, “a man that loved his wife so much." A man who loved his community.

"Lee was our backup, and he was the one that protected us when we went on calls,” said David Borders, Little River-Academy Volunteer Fire Department’s Chief.

Borders was one of Dixon's close friends.

"He'd come over here and tell me stories all the time," Borders said, stories about his horses.

"He always talked to me about his horses,” Borders said, smiling. “I don't know how that always ended up in a conversation we had."

It's a popular memory, shared by friend after friend Thursday.

"In fact, he just had a new colt a couple months ago,” Greene said, “and that was the first picture he showed me when he came into work that morning."

But more than memories of his animals, the picture of an always happy, always joking man emerged.

"We've had a lot of memories with him … over the years,” LRA Mayor Ronnie White said. “Me and him was always ragging each other about something.”

And past his personality, speakers describe a vision of an officer dedicated to his work.

“He wasn't out just to put people in jail,” Lange said. “That was not Lee. He was out to help our community."

That's the way his family here in Little River-Academy will remember him.

"You have to remember the good things about people when they leave,” said Jordan Snowden, an LRA VFD member. “You can't focus on the bad things."

"My whole main goal is just to keep his memory alive,” Borders said. “And we will."

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