Stan Elrod is being mourned in Madison County and beyond after the long-time law enforcement officer lost his life after being struck by a car last week.
A driver crossed over two lanes of traffic on Hunt Road in Madison County Thursday evening, killing Elrod. (See related story)
The death of the 49-year-old Department of Natural Resources Captain from Danielsville has hit many people hard locally. They recall Elrod as a man who “could always make you laugh, even if you were having a bad day.” He is remembered as a fun-loving, family man, who comforted those in need.
Madison County Sheriff Michael Moore said he is personally grieving the loss of Elrod, who is survived by his wife, Julie, and their two sons, Levi and Luke.
“He was a very good friend of mine; we’ve been friends a long time,” said Moore. “We fished together and had a lot of good conversations.”
Madison County Coroner Julie “Coach” Harrison said Elrod’s passing is devastating.
“He was a great man, a great friend and family man, a Christian man,” said Harrison through tears. “I never saw him get upset. He has a way of cheering people up, a calming presence. He was a pleasure to work with. The world lost a treasure, a gem.”
The 28-year DNR veteran was a member of Trinity Baptist Church, who enjoyed hunting, fishing, coaching Little League, NASCAR. He loved music and practical jokes. He was an avid cyclist, participating in the Police Unity Tour, a Ranger of the Year in 1999, a Georgia Southern and Columbus State University graduate, and a board member of the Outdoor Dream Foundation, an organization providing hunting, fishing and other outdoor adventures to children who have been diagnosed with terminal or life-threatening illnesses.
State Senator Frank Ginn said “there wasn’t a better guy around than Stan Elrod,” noting that Elrod was always working to serve others.
“He was a public servant in every capacity,” said Ginn. “He was a great dad. He was very knowledgeable. For years, I served as the chairman of natural resources committee and I could always count on Stan to let me know what effect legislation would have. He would help me understand if there were unintended consequences of legislation. He worked to make his community and this state a better place. He was a top-notch person.”
News of Elrod’s passing reached the state capitol. And Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statement.
“Yesterday, we lost a great man. Georgia Department of Natural Resources — Georgia DNR Captain Stan Elrod was a proud husband, father, and public servant who worked tirelessly to positively impact people’s lives,” said Kemp. “Capt. Elrod was struck and killed by a motor vehicle while physically training in Danielsville last night. His death is devastating for his family, colleagues, and the State of Georgia. Please join Marty, the girls, and I in praying for his loved ones as they mourn.”
DNR Commisssioner Mark Williams said Elrod echoed the Governor’ sentiment.
“Elrod was a committed officer and supervisor in our Law Enforcement Division, having risen to the position of region supervisor over our Region 2 office in Gainesville,” said Williams. “He will be remembered for his selfless service and complete devotion to the safety of his fellow officers, fellow Georgians, and his state’s natural resources. We are beyond grateful to have worked with and known Captain Elrod, as he truly made us all better through his example. The hearts of the 1,800 members of the DNR family go out to the Elrod family during this time of great sorrow.”
Madison County 911 director Brenan Baird said he “never heard anyone say anything negative about Stan.”
“After 27 years in public service, to have the moral, professional, fair reputation he had as a man, an officer, and community member is unprecedented and irreplaceable,” said Baird. “His death is a loss to the county, the state, law enforcement, and most of all to his family. I hope his family and friends find peace knowing he had such a lasting impact on the people he met, and that the world is better because Stan was in it.”
Madison County teacher Allison Daniels, a fellow church member at Trinity Baptist, said her family lost a great friend.
“Stan was the most humble person you could ever meet,” said Daniels. “He was a dear friend to all of us. His life was Christ-centered and he was a blessing to everyone. Even though we are heartbroken and miss him terribly, we do find comfort in knowing we will see him again in heaven.”