‘He’s my brother. We stick together’: Community pays respects to deputy killed by COVID-19

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 7:01 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Sgt. Charles Norton got the hero’s farewell with a procession that took him from Richmond County to Fort Jackson.

When the procession left the funeral home just before noon, it was a line of lights and silence and a moment of honor and respect.

Sgt. Norton died from coronavirus last weekend, and Tuesday, all reflected on how his life impacted so many. From the line of duty to a line of blue, Norton left this world a servant.

“He was a very good friend of my family, my daughter’s, and her grandchildren,” Steven Lemon said.

Lemon stood along Peach Orchard Road for more than an hour to salute his fellow veteran.

“Anybody who treats my family that well, they mean a lot to me,” Lemon said.

Walter Rouse knew Norton for 34 years as his neighbor.

“He’s always been around the family. Good guy, always been there for us. Anything we needed, he was there,” Rouse said.

They were there to support him along with his family and his brothers in blue. Twenty-two years of service to Richmond County was cut short by COVID-19.

“I see him every day, every day. Now, I can’t see him every day. That’s a hurt feeling, man,” Rouse said.

All the hurt met with honor and tribute. Deputies from Aiken, Lexington, and Richland counties escorted him to his final resting place.

Brothers standing together until the end, and one standing in salute.

“He’s my brother, and that’s what we do -- we stick together,” Lemon said.

Sheriff Richard Roundtree of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office says that Norton was a mature leader, but also brought joy to the agency. Today is a day to honor that and pay respects to decades of service.

The sheriff’s office also says Norton left a legacy as a devout Christian, dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. They say he loved life and never met a stranger.

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