Game Wardens Remembered At Athens Memorial - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Game Wardens Remembered At Athens Memorial

The names are forever etched in granit, and behind each one there is a different story.

James Daughtrey was killed in a head on collission while patrolling the Nueces River in 1978.

His mother, Freddie Mabry, says it was his love of the outdoors that drew him into this career.

"He loved the Parks and Wildlife.  He loved it from the very beginning," says Mabry.

Justin Hurst was shot and killed after a high speed pursuit involving a suspected poacher on March 17th of this year; Warden Hurst's 34th birthday.

His wife, Amanda says, "His captain came to my door at 2:15 in the moring, and it's one of those things that you never, you always wonder about, but you never want to hear it. You never want to see it."

With her niece by her side, and their five month old son in her arms, Amanda says she knows exactly what she'll tell Kyle about his father.

"His daddy was a hero, and how much he loved him. He couldn't wait to come home from work and see him, hold him and play with him," says Amanda.

The ceremony reminds those who are left, like Captain Shawn Phillips, of the dangers they face everyday.

"We carry on the job, but these officers have made the ultimate sacrifice. Not only the officers, but their families have made it. That's why it's important," says Phillips.

For Amanda and Freddie, it's a chance to find a little comfort in the midst of their own sorrow.

Everyday, 500 game wardens dedicate themselves to protecting the state's natural resources. For 16, that dedication cost them their lives. 

KLTV 7 News salutes the fallen officers:

Joe William - 1919
Harry raymond - 1919
D.R. Murchison - 1938
R.M. Wynne - 1948
Gus Engeling - 1951
Claude Keller - 1956
J.D. Murphree - 1963
Joe Evans - 1965
Loyd Gustin - 1968
Ronnie German - 1973
James Daughtrey - 1978
Barry Decker - 1990
Bruce Hill - 1990
Michael Pauling - 2001
Wesley Wagstaff - 2003
Justin Hurst - 2007

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting:


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