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Family, colleagues lay to rest Orange County Sheriff’s deputy who spent 6 years in a coma

After passing the final chapter of his life in a coma, Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Cammon was laid to rest Thursday, Sept. 5, at Fairhaven Memorial Cemetery in Santa Ana.

“For the past few days – for the past six years, really – we have mourned him,” Sheriff Don Barnes told attendees.

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Beginning with a procession of law enforcement vehicles, the tradition-steeped ceremony included a bagpipe performance of “Amazing Grace,” the playing of taps and a helicopter flyover.

A six-year veteran of the department at the time, Cammon collapsed during a SWAT tryout in 2013. Officials attributed his illness to “severe dehydration and cardiac issues.”

Never regaining consciousness, Cammon, 35, died Aug. 23 in a rehabilitation facility.

Cammon was was assigned to Stanton, where Tustin Police Chief Stu Greenberg then served as chief of police services.

In his tribute, Greenberg described Cammon as so confident and commanding that he might have seemed intimidating if not for his steadfast warmth.

“That was his face,” he said, pointing at a poster-sized photo of the grinning deputy.

“He lived life large – big washer and drier, big dogs, big truck,” Greenberg added, remembering Cammon’s huge Rhodesian Ridgeback. “And, big heart and big smile.”

Greenberg read Cammon’s obituary, which included a stint as a child actor on television commercials. “I told you he was handsome,” Greenberg inserted.

Cammon grew up in San Gabriel and graduated from UC Irvine in 2006 with a degree in criminology. He received the Medal of Courage in 2010 with three other off-duty deputies after they subdued a man with a knife assaulting a woman in a restaurant.

Every speaker took a moment to praise Cammon’s mother, LeNora “Cookie” Sturdivant, who stayed by her son’s bedside throughout.

“Thank you for raising an exceptional young man,” Barnes said. “He didn’t turn out that way by accident.”

Tom Dominguez, president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, said, “There is no greater blessing that a child can receive than the love of his mother. Carlos is truly blessed.”

Sturdivant concluded the service with a poignant prayer.

“Heavenly father,” she said, “I don’t understand. I love you and I trust you, but my heart is broken. Please put me back together again.”

She never gave up hope that she would walk into her son’s room to hear a welcoming hello.

Although that never happened, Sturdivant said, “I know that when my appointed time comes, he will greet me in heaven and say, ‘Hi, Mom.’”


Source: Orange County Register

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