CAHOKIA, Ill. (AP) -- A longtime southwestern Illinois sheriff is being remembered as a fun-loving law enforcement officer and faithful Catholic who dedicated his life to serving others.
The Belleville News Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/UlblZR) bagpipes played and people lined roadways to honor former St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus.
Dozens of law enforcement officers also turned out for the funeral in Cahokia, the St. Louis-area community where Justus started his career and served 22 years as police chief.
Justus was 81 when he died Tuesday at a hospital, exactly a week after he retired after 30 years as sheriff.
During his nearly 60 years in law enforcement, Justus built a reputation as jovial but effective.
The Rev. Mark Reyling told mourners Saturday Justus "dedicated his life to serving and protecting God's holy people."