Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Jeff Sewell was given a statewide goodbye on Thursday after losing his battle to COVID-19 on Saturday.
It's not often people fill a stadium to honor one man, but it was clear that Captain Jeff Sewell was not just any man.
"A lot of people say 58 years is really young, but COVID-19 doesn’t decide when he dies, God does," a pastor said at the service.
A man who devoted his life to serving others received a hero's farewell. Captain Jeff Sewell served on the highway for more than three decades, and was head of the Officer Outreach Program and Atoka Cadet Lawmen. Tulsa County Sheriff's Deputy Justin Green knew him personally.
"I had the personal privilege of knowing Jeff, being in law enforcement and doing Special Olympics," Green said.
Thursday’s service was attended by Oklahoma Highway Patrolmen from across the state, as well as family and friends. The patrol arranged for a motorcade and flyover during the burial.
“Everything he didn’t he did for us girls,” said daughter Jenni Allen. “He worked hard, he worked lots of jobs, not just highway patrol. He was very kind and compassionate and fair and I think that and probably humble fairness and your military her to the words that best describe him."
Allen said they were in shock when she got the call her dad had passed.
“No matter what he knew where he was going. He was either going to go home here to Atoka or go home to be here with the Lord,” Allen added.
Sewell only had 20 months left before he planned to retire from the patrol. Allen said she will miss her dad’s chocolate gravy on holidays.
Green said what made Sewell stand out was his life of service and what he'll miss most is his friends contagious smile.
“He had a fun, fun spirit. Jeff was very passionate about everything he did, he loved his family, he loved his job, he loves his friend, and most importantly he loved the Lord," Green said. "Most definitely worth coming to honor and respect somebody who has poured so much to the hearts and lives of so many people. This is just a small thing that we can do to get back and show our respect."