Family of fallen East Texas sheriff’s deputy remembers him for his dedication to them, his community and job

“This was his home. He wanted to protect everyone here. He wanted to make it safer for himself and his family," his widow says

FIRST INTERVIEW: "He died doing what he loved; and we can't take that away from him," Panola deputy's mother says

PANOLA COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) — On a wet and dreary day in Panola County, Texas, lining the streets were proud reminders of a man with a heart for others.

“Oh, wow. I mean his girls were everything to him. ... He was over the moon to have both of them in his life," Krista Dickerson said of her late husband, Panola County, Texas, sheriff's Deputy Chris Dickerson.
“Oh, wow. I mean his girls were everything to him. ... He was over the moon to have both of them in his life," Krista Dickerson said of her late husband, Panola County, Texas, sheriff's Deputy Chris Dickerson. (Source: Deputy Chris Dickerson's family)

“He would give the shirt of his back. He would help anybody in need. … He wanted to protect anybody and everybody," Rebecca Dickerson said of her son Chris, a sheriff’s deputy killed in the line of duty.

“He was always happy. He was always trying to make someone laugh. He never wanted to be the center of attention," said Krista Dickerson, the fallen law officer’s widow.

They were married for nine years. Then he was fatally shot during a traffic stop on New Year’s Eve.

“This was his home. He wanted to protect everyone here,” she continued. “He wanted to make it safer for himself and his family. He loves this community."

Chris Dickerson’s older sister, Jacklyn Mullins, lives for the time she spent with the natural leader. “It was like he was your best friend and then be your worst enemy at the same time."

As for his younger sister, Shelby Horn, “he was always there when you needed him,” she said. “He’d pick you up on your worst day.

A loyal companion.

“He was just there at all times."

“But knowing Chris did what he loved. He died doing what he loved; and we can’t take that away from him," Rebecca Dickerson said of her son, the late Panola County, Texas, sheriff's Deputy Chris Dickerson.
“But knowing Chris did what he loved. He died doing what he loved; and we can’t take that away from him," Rebecca Dickerson said of her son, the late Panola County, Texas, sheriff's Deputy Chris Dickerson. (Source: KSLA News 12)

Chris Dickerson was a soldier and a public servant but, most importantly, a proud father.

“Oh, wow. I mean his girls were everything to him,” Krista Dickerson said. “The pride he had for those girls.

“It honestly makes me think of Tarzan. He pounded his chest when those girls were born because they were his and no one could take them from him. He was over the moon to have both of them in his life."

Now during these days since Chris Dickerson was gunned down, his mother says their family has received love and support from far beyond East Texas.

“We’ve had people from across the nation messaging us, sending us their love and prayers,” Rebecca Dickerson began.

“But knowing Chris did what he loved. He died doing what he loved; and we can’t take that away from him."

And although his life was abruptly taken, his compassionate spirit lives on in those he loved.

Panola Sheriff Kevin Lake said notifying Deputy Chris Dickerson’s family about what happened on that East Texas road south of Carthage was tough. "... The hardest knock I’ve ever made."
Panola Sheriff Kevin Lake said notifying Deputy Chris Dickerson’s family about what happened on that East Texas road south of Carthage was tough. "... The hardest knock I’ve ever made." (Source: KSLA News 12)

“Chris was a hero, he was a soldier, he was a warrior," his widow said. “Without knowing how much he loved us, we wouldn’t be able to breathe."

Panola Sheriff Kevin Lake said telling Chris Dickerson’s family about what happened on that East Texas road south of Carthage was tough.

“That’s my job. It’s not the highlight of my job, but it’s my job,” he noted. "With the help of the department chaplain, patrol supervisor and officer friends of Chris, we went and made that notification early that morning.

“The hardest knock I’ve ever made,” Lake continued.

“We made that notification and you would think we would be there to support the family, but the role was turned and they were actually there to support us.”

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS

  • Visitation for family members and friends of the late Deputy Chris Dickerson will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, in the Civic Center in Carthage, Texas.
  • His funeral will be held in the same venue at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4.

TO HELP

Donations are being accepted to help the late Deputy Chris Dickerson’s family.

An account for that purpose has been opened at First State Bank of Carthage.

Contributions can be dropped off at or mailed to the bank at 110 W. Panola St. in Carthage. That ZIP code is 75633.

Make checks payable to the Dickerson Family Beneficiary Account.

“Chris was a hero, he was a soldier, he was a warrior," Krista Dickerson said of her late husband, Panola County sheriff's Deputy Chris Dickerson. "Without knowing how much he loved us, we wouldn’t be able to breathe."
“Chris was a hero, he was a soldier, he was a warrior," Krista Dickerson said of her late husband, Panola County sheriff's Deputy Chris Dickerson. "Without knowing how much he loved us, we wouldn’t be able to breathe." (Source: KSLA News 12)

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