SEQUOYAH COUNTY (KFSM)-- Sequoyah County is mourning the loss of a former sheriff after he lost his battle to cancer Sunday (Aug. 30).
Sam Lockhart was 95 years-old and had served in law enforcement for 20 of those years.
His nephew Ron Lockhart, the current Sequoyah County Sheriff, said his uncle was the reason he went into law enforcement.
“I helped him with his campaign when he ran the first year,” Ron said. “I always said I wanted to be sheriff someday, and of course Sam helped me when I first ran.”
Sam was the Sequoyah County Sheriff from 1981 to 1988.
Throughout Sam's life, his nephew said, he never made an enemy. Even those he arrested would visit him at home.
“They would come over, and thank him for arresting them and being respectful to them, and he always told me, even though they're in jail they're still human beings,” Ron said. “You need to treat them with respect.”
Sequoyah County Court Clerk Vicki Beaty, had known Sam since she was young.
“Sam was one of those kind of people,” Beaty said. “He never met a stranger.”
She said he will be remembered for the compassion he showed to others.
“He was a public servant from the time he ran for sheriff, and that's what he portrayed,” Beaty said. “He was there to help anyone that needed help.”
Now the current sheriff, Ron, said he hopes he can live up to the legacy his uncle left nearly 30 years ago.
"Just a good guy, he was respected by all, and he's going to be missed,” Ron said.
The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday (Sept. 3) at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Sallisaw.