By Tia Lynn Lecorchick managing editor
The Georgia State Patrol held a luncheon, memorial service, and road dedication for a fallen trooper, Keith Harlan Sewell, a First Class Trooper, who died in 1979 in a car crash while answering a call concerning a motorcycle gang riot in Greene County. The call was later discovered to be a false call. Sewell’s family, Georgia State Patrolmen, and local law enforcement representatives gathered to witness the unveiling of a memorial sign dedicating the bridge of Route 441 near Apalachee Road to Trooper Sewell on Oct. 16. Keith Sewell was just 25-years-old when he died, leaving being his wife, June Wallace, and then 5-month-old son, Brian Sewell. He was also survived by his mother, Lottie Sewell and brother, Anthony Sewell. Keith Sewell originally planned on a career in music, majoring in music at Georgia Southern University, where he met his wife. But after a friend was murdered, Keith Sewell switched his major to criminal justice and dedicated his life to public safety through law enforcement. Corporal Brad Walker, of Georgia State Patrol, is glad to see Sewell’s memory finally honored with a road dedication. “He gave his life while serving the public—the ultimate sacrifice,” said Walker. “We want to honor that.” Captain Allen Marlowe, Troop E Commander, encouraged the crowd to evaluate their own lives in light of life’s often cruel and unexpected brevity. “For Sewell, a call came, he answered and he met his Maker that day,” said Marlowe. “It could happen to any of us. So, look at yourselves and dedicate your life to Christ.” Sewell’s mother, brother, and widow each spoke to his life during the memorial service at The First Methodist Church in Madison—the same church Sewell’s funeral was held in. June Wallace, Sewell’s widow, addressed the crowd to share about her memories of Keith Sewell and to thank the Georgia State Patrol for honoring his legacy. “The state patrol is a family and they love each other like a family and take care of each other like a family,” said June Wallace. “Keith always had a huge smile on his face. He cared about people and he put that caring into action. He was full of life and full of fun. He loved a good joke. He worked with the youth at this church. He was a loving and caring husband, a proud father, and close to his family. They were all such an important part of his life.” Wallace played a piano version of the hymn “How Great Thou Art,” at the memorial service because it was Keith’s favorite song. “I used to hear him singing it outside all the time,” remembered Wallace. “To our trooper here today: Keith was called to be with the Lord at the age of 25. We all know that your job is risky and we thank you for the sacrifices you make every single day,” closed Wallace. Lottie Sewell, Keith’s mother, spoke of her son’s love of questions, people, and sense of independence from a young age. She was moved by the memorial the state patrol had arranged for her son. “I am so humbled by this day,” said Lottie Sewell. “It means so much to me that all of you have gone through so much trouble to honor Keith like this.” Anthony Sewell, Keith’s brother, expressed his gratitude for the service of his brother and every state patrolmen. “I’d like to add my thanks for the great turnout today and to the state patrol as a whole,” said Anthony Sewell. “My brother devoted his entire life to law enforcement to keep others safe. But we want you to be safe out there, too. We know you have a dangerous job. We lived through it. Be safe, and don’t risk too much and put your families through what we’ve been through.” According to Corporal Brad Walker, there are approximately 27 fallen state troopers for whom other road dedications are being arranged. Next Thursday, Oct. 23, the Georgia State Patrol will honor fallen trooper Morris with a road dedication on 441 between the south city limits of Madison and the north city limits of Eatonton.