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'Chief'

Mr. Otto Smith Overton left this world last week.

But 'Chief' is still here among us, and will be as long as there is someone in Farmville who remembers him and his six decades of public service. So 'Chief' won't be going anywhere for a very, very long time, indeed. Not ever, really, because the police department's building bears his name.

How many people do you know who could retire from a job and 16 years later everyone is still calling them by their job title? In 'Chief's' case, he carried the responsibilities of police chief for 42 years after being employed as the youngest chief of police in Virginia in 1954.

He may have retired as chief in 1996, but he was still 'Chief,' even to his fellow Town Council members. That's who he was, who he is, who he ever shall be. There will be other police chiefs. There have already been several. But 'Chief' will always be 'Chief' because in his case it ceased being a job title and became transformed into something else.

Great affection.

Deep respect.

Just ask Saint Peter some day. There is no way he would have greeted Mr. Otto Smith Overton by any other name than 'Chief.'

-JKW-