Gilbert Police Chief Wesley Ezell was laid to rest surrounded by a host of family and friends Tuesday afternoon at Calvary Baptist Church.
Ezell passed away May 23 due to complications with a recent illness.
Ezell, 71, served as Gilbert’s police chief since 2015. To those close to him, he was known as a generous man who was dedicated to protecting Gilbert’s residents.
“This is a tremendous and terrible, terrible loss for the Village of Gilbert,” said Mayor Mike Stephens, a nephew to Ezell. “He was 100 percent dedicated to his job. He took his job serious and protected the schools, children and parents. He rode the streets and checked on the elderly in bad weather.”
Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb agreed with Stephens.
“Wesley was a great chief during the time of his service,” Cobb said. “He really understood his purpose there. He cared for the people he worked with as well as his constituents in the Village of Gilbert. Chief Ezell will be truly missed as a colleague and a friend.”
Wisner Chief of Police Billy Beach called Ezell, “As good a chief as you could ask for. He loved his job, loved talking to people and helping people in ways that you wouldn’t believe. I enjoyed working with him. He will surely be missed.”
Ezell’s service went beyond his badge, a fact proven by the benevolent actions he performed around the community he protected, Stephens said.
One such action was the selling of peaches. Each year, Ezell would sell peaches with proceeds going to buy Christmas presents to underprivileged children.
“Many people didn’t know he did those sort of things, and he didn’t want them to know,” Stephens said. “When he helped people, it was no strings attached. He would help them and walk off.”
Not only did he excel in his position as chief of police, but Ezell excelled as a father and grandfather. A point Brittany Berry, Ezell’s daughter, explained in a social media post.
“There will never be anyone else like him,” Berry wrote. “He had a rough exterior with a tender heart of gold. I'm such a daddy's girl and now my daddy is gone. I don't know how to do life without him. I saw him almost daily. He was the strongest, kindest, most generous man I have ever known, and I got the privilege to call him daddy. My sweet Grayson Kade got to call him pawpaw. I'm going to miss watching the two of them together. I will miss their sweet relationship.”