'Compassion …Sincerity'

Published 2:57 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

FARMVILLE — Funeral Services for Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Department Major, David Eppes, were held on Saturday October 12th in Prince Edward County High School’s auditorium, with interment at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Rice.

The 50-year died last Monday but his spirit lives on in those who knew him.

And for one law enforcement colleague, it is Major Eppes’ deep caring for others that he will carry in his memory.

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“His compassion and his sincerity, that’s what struck me,” Farmville Police Chief Doug Mooney recalled. “And that’s a trait that you really need to see in a law enforcement officer. And he was definitely compassionate and he was sincere.

“When he told you something,” Chief Mooney said, “you could just see it in him.”

Respected among the law enforcement community across the state, Major Eppes taught firearms and officer survival classes at the Criminal Justice Academy of Central Virginia.

And it was Major Eppes whose photograph was used statewide in the commonwealth’s so-called “pump and run” campaign to stop motorists from driving off without paying for their gas.

But it is his depth of compassion and sincerity, along with a high degree of professionalism, that fellow law enforcement officers like Chief Mooney will remember most about the man who served the Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Department for 22 years.

Chief Mooney knew Major Eppes before the former accepted the position of police chief in Farmville. Chief Mooney’s first impressions came simply as a local resident and at a time when the Mooney family was under great duress.

“When we were at MCV after my son’s car crash, he put a (police) check on our house…and he, himself came up and checked on it to make sure everything was secure. The fact that he thought and did that,” Chief Mooney said, pausing at the memory, “I remember that. I don’t forget it. That’s the type of person he was.

“He made sure somebody kept an eye on the house. In fact, he called one time when I had a lot of family over to make sure. He didn’t think anybody was supposed to be at the house and we did have some cars there that evening,” the police chief said. “He wanted to make sure they were supposed to be there and that really—with all that we had going on at that time—as a citizen of the county that made me feel very good.

“But also, just his compassion to think about that,” he said.

Chief Mooney summed up the community’s reaction to hearing of Major Eppes’ sudden death last week, saying, “It was a shock, really, he was so full of life,” he said, “and it just makes you realize how precious life is.”

Major Eppes, who was second in command to Prince Edward County Sheriff Wesley Reed, was the husband of Circuit Court Clerk Machelle Eppes.