2017-07-13 / Front Page

Community honors Beggs’ life of service

By JANE ELLYN AARON
news editor


Hundreds, if not thousands, of people lined the streets of Lincolnton last week to pay their respects to Sheriff Bruce Beggs, as a horse drawn carriage followed a lengthy procession of law enforcement vehicles from around the state. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people lined the streets of Lincolnton last week to pay their respects to Sheriff Bruce Beggs, as a horse drawn carriage followed a lengthy procession of law enforcement vehicles from around the state. The community assembled to­gether to pay its final respects to Bruce Beggs Thursday afternoon, as hundreds were not only in at­tendance of the honorary service, but the streets of Lincolnton were covered with people lined up for the procession – touched by the life and legacy of the sheriff.

Beggs dedicated his life to serving the people of Lincoln County, not only by operating in the position of sheriff over these past five years, but unwaveringly in many, many capacities.

“Good-humored,” “God-fearing,” and “my friend” have become syn­onymous with Beggs, as an entire community has not only grieved together, but celebrated a life that impacted more than his own home­town with his constancy and dedica­tion to give to others.


BRUCE BEGGS BRUCE BEGGS “It’s not that Bruce Beggs is gone, but that Bruce Beggs was here,” as Rev. Paul Reviere poignantly out­lined, impressing that the sheriff’s memory will continue to impact Lincoln County, its community, and its leaders.

A testament to his heart likewise came when nearly 2,000 visitors made up of friends, family, and law enforcement personnel from across the state attended the visitation held at the Lincoln County courthouse last Wednesday, with some waiting in line for two hours to pay their respects to Beggs and his family.

“Bruce Beggs has left us a legacy of family, relatives, and extended family, which meant much to him. He left us a legacy of friendship, of people from across the community, and beyond. Whomever he met, he befriended them, and they called him ‘friend.’ He left us a legacy of community service, seeking to serve others, rather than himself. His unmatched years in public service at the courthouse and his continuing to find new avenues in which to serve Lincoln County attest to his love for our county,” Reviere said. “Bruce was the epitome of a true southern gentleman – Lincoln County was fortunate to have had him for many years, and Lincoln County will miss him greatly,” Reviere said.

Even still, Beggs leaves behind more than a life’s example of integ­rity, but for all who knew him, a kind smile accompanied by a chuckle, an affinity for spinning yarn after yarn, and an iridescent warmth that could not be extinguished. To say that he cared for, protected, and loved Lin­coln County – and even more so, its people – is an understatement.

“Bruce and I were lifelong friends, and we worked together for almost 40 years, he was a good fellow, and I’m going to miss him bad,” Com­mission Chairman Walker Norman said. “This is a tragic loss for the whole county.

“[We] lost a true friend who had Lincoln County and its citizens’ best interests at heart for over a quarter of a century as a public servant,” Norman added.

Friend to all, with a heart of fam­ily at the root, countless others have also shared memories iterating the same sentiments of Reviere and Norman.

While words like “wisdom” and “wit” have all been used as adjec­tives for Beggs, most strikingly of all has been the commonality of “he was my best friend,” from the tightly-knit Lincoln community.

“Bruce Beggs cast a powerful shadow with a lasting influence on so many. What a legacy! What a heritage! Few men ever have such effect and impact, as his life has touched countless people. Without question, we are better people, be­cause we had the privilege to walk in the shadow of Sheriff Bruce. C. Beggs,” Reviere said.

It’s not that Beggs is gone, but that he was here, and that his heart will remain, so that Lincoln County may take joy in his memory.

(Full obituary appears on page 2).

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