In a moving service that recalled his dedication to public service and his appreciation for all of life’s adventures, the community expressed a sad farewell to Deputy Robert “Bob” Paris.
Friday’s funeral service for Paris brought in an overflow crowd at Big Valley Grace Community Church, including Gov. Jerry Brown, California Attorney General Kamala Harris and hundreds and hundreds of members of law enforcement from all over the state wishing to pay tribute to the fallen deputy.
Paris, 53, was killed in the line of duty on April 12 while executing an eviction at a Modesto residence. Modesto locksmith Glendon Engert, 35, also was killed in the ambush.
The service included a video tribute from Paris’ colleagues and several stories from his friends about his adventures in the wild. An avid hunter and fisherman and skilled taxidermist, Paris would make an annual trek to Colorado for a couple weeks of hunting and friends said it was an honor to make his list of attendees.
Last year Paris got to live out one of his life’s dreams by going on safari in Africa.
Paris’ commitment to public service was recalled by many during the service. Longtime friend and retired Tracy Fire Captain Jeff Mason told the crowd how a young Paris would ask his parents to follow emergency vehicles as they passed by with lights flashing and sirens wailing in case they needed extra help.
“He had a heart for emergency services,” Mason said.
Paris served as a paramedic before becoming a deputy with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. Over his 16-year career, Paris served in numerous functions, including court services, patrol and most recently in the civil division.
“Bob wore his badge with pride, loved his job and loved serving his community” said Sheriff Adam Christianson.
Community members paid a final tribute to Paris by lining the streets with American flags and handmade signs during the journey to the gravesite.
The funeral service for Engert is set for 2 p.m. today at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses at 4940 Claus Rd. in Modesto. Burial is private.