It’s been nearly a year since Corporal Charles “Charlie” Catron passed away, but that didn’t stop the End of Watch Ride from traveling more than 2,400 miles from Washington state to honor the former member of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.
On Monday, July 18, a motorcycle contingent entered Hillsville to visit the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office to honor Catron’s memory in front of his friends, family and law enforcement comrades-in-arms. Catron, who served with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years in various roles, passed away on September 23, 2021 after a month-long battle with COVID.
“It’s a lot of mixed emotions,” Carroll County Sheriff Kevin A. Kemp said of Ride to Remember, a 22,000-mile journey across America to honor the men and women of law enforcement who paid the maximum price for its service to our communities. . “Lots of memories of Charlie and what he meant to us, not just as a deputy and a friend, but as a servant to this community. I think you would know that about Charlie if you ever met him and this brings back all those memories, seeing his family here today and trying to help them more than anything, but a lot of mixed emotions to be honest with you.”
During his 13 years with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Catron started in the patrol division, worked in the court division as a sheriff, and most recently was employed by Kemp in the department’s civilian division. Kemp has many fond memories of Catron, who was assigned to patrol with him when he was hired by then-Carroll Sheriff Warren Manning.
“Charlie was one of the nicest and most genuine men you will ever meet. He was someone you wanted to call a friend, the kind of person you were proud to know. He cared about people, he cared about his family, he loved his daughter, his mother, his grandchildren,” Kemp said. “He was one of those people who impacted your life as soon as you met him.”
Accompanying the roar of the motorcycles that arrived in Hillsville as part of the End of Watch Ride/Ride to Remember was a trailer with the names and photos of the 608 members of law enforcement who have died in the line of duty since 1 from March 2021 to March 2021. On January 1, 2022. Ride to Remember not only remembers the fallen, but also honors the families left behind to pick up the pieces.
JC Shah, founder of Beyond the Call of Duty, is a former central Washington deputy sheriff who started the organization after retiring in 2017. He and other members of the group were there during the ceremony to comfort Catron’s mother, Beverly. Catron; her daughter and son-in-law Aleena and Austin Bedsaul; and her two grandchildren, Carter and Mahalee.
A member helped as Beverly placed a flower next to Catron’s photo in the trailer with the 608 photos of the fallen. Shah and others gave hugs, offered support and just heard what Catron’s mother and family have been through since her passing.
Shah joined Jeff Pickett, pastor of the Hillsville Pentecostal Holiness Church, in praying for the Catron family at the event. The president of Beyond the Call of Duty also explained to the family that they would be given a custom Blue Line Bear plush once it had been personalized.
“We are honored to be allowed to do this and we are honored. Spending time with families means a lot to us,” Shah said. “We only have a limited number of travel days, so we have been away from our friends and our families this year for 79 days. At the end of the initial run we will have gone to 268 departments. We start on June 1st, we finish on August 18th and we will have covered more than 23,000 miles.”
Like Kemp, Catron’s daughter Aleena said the ceremony brought up a lot of different emotions. Still, she said it meant the world to her and her family.
“This means a lot to me, just looking at all these images makes you feel warm and sad at the same time, knowing that all these men and women have given their lives for something that we don’t really see all the time. ,” she said. “But to see her face there is wonderful and I really appreciate all her work.”
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN