Two local sheriff’s departments held memorial services Friday to honor deputies who died of COVID-19 complications.
Clay County Deputy Clint Seagle and Flagler County Deputy Paul Luciano were remembered as heroes by colleagues and loved ones. Their deaths mean at least 10 first responders in the area have died from COVID-19, according to News4Jax records.
A large American flag was draped at the entrance of the First Baptist Church of Middleburg where Seagle’s funeral took place. His memorial included full honors. The Sheriff’s Office said his death is considered a line of duty death because he contracted COVID-19 while on duty.
Seagle’s casket was brought into the church by deputies with a folded flag sitting on top. In addition to serving the citizens of Clay County, Seagle was a decorated sailor who served in the Navy for 21 years.
“Deputy Seagle leaves behind a hole in our department and our community and it’s not easily filled,” Sheriff Michelle Cook said.
Seagle was a member of the Sheriff’s Office since 2006 and served in the patrol, traffic and, most recently, civil unit. He also was honored with numerous awards at the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Cook said Friday’s memorial was about celebrating his life, legacy and service.
“Clint was known for being unknown,” Cook said. “It sounds kind of funny, but he was a quiet guy who was very genuine, very thoughtful and when he spoke, people listened.”
He died Sunday after a long battle with COVID-19.
“Clint Seagle is healed. He’s healthy. He doesn’t have this awful, awful virus and he’s in heaven,” said Pastor Tim Martin, who gave the eulogy. “He had a contagious, contagious smile and laugh as well as a big heart for the people in his community.”
Thursday night, Clay County deputies and people throughout the community got together to pay tribute to Seagle, lining the streets for a procession honoring the fallen deputy.
One of Seagle’s friends says he was committed to serving his family, community and country.
“Officer Seagle was one of my best friends. He was a good man, a retired chief in the military, loved this country, loved everything he did, his job, great family, great people,” Paul Allen said. “It’s been a rough road this last month or so. He’s been on a ventilator for quite a while, and we thought he was going to pull through. The good Lord had some different plans.”
Seagle and his wife were celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary this month.
Flagler County also mourning
Further south in Flagler County, a department saluted and honored a detention deputy who also died of COVID-19 complications.
The sheriff’s office announced Detention Deputy Sheriff Paul Luciano died at age 60.
Luciano leaves behind his wife and their children.
In a statement, Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly said:
“Deputy Luciano is a hero and this has devastated our team. I’m asking the community to keep his family and the men and women of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office in their prayers as we mourn the loss of one of our own. Deputy Luciano will be greatly missed by his brothers and sister of the FCSO.”
Luciano’s funeral also included full law enforcement honors.