Honoring Officer Scotty Hamilton: a celebration of life

Published: Mar. 18, 2018 at 7:24 PM EDT
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Thousands attended the funeral to honor Officer Scotty Hamilton. The service was a celebration of his life.

"This week tragedy became personal," Pastor Brad Smart said.

Many shared stories about Hamilton being a devoted husband, proud of his new baby girl and a dedicated public servant.

"When you think of the words like father, husband, son, brother and friend, you can think of Scotty and who he was," Mayor Jimmy Carter said. "When he was not in uniform, a job, I'm sure he took a lot of pride in."

Kevin Thacker, trooper and brother-in-law, says Hamilton loved his daughter, Brynlee. He was excited to be a father.

"My most beloved memory of Scotty was the night Brynlee was born, and hours leading to her birth," Thacker said. "I have never seen him so nervous, so excited and scared."

"Brynlee was the most important thing in Scotty's life," Pikeville Chief of Police, Chris Edmonds, said. "I always knew Scotty was going to be a wonderful father because I watched him with my own son, many years before that."

In addition to his family, Hamilton was passionate about his work. He was dedicated to fighting the drug epidemic and making Pikeville a safer place.

"You might have seen Scotty, he might have pulled you over," Jimmy Anderson, KSP detective, said. "He might have even issued you a citation, but I guarantee you, he was probably in a positive way and a light when he left."

Every person who spoke commented on Hamilton's love for life. Many saying he had a contagious smile.

"There was no man finer than Scotty," Virgil Ray, detective, said. "He loved his wife and loved his life."

"He had integrity like no other, he was honest, dedicated and sincere," Donovan Blackburn, CEO of Pikeville Medical Center, said. "You never questioned his courage, he never backed down from a challenge, and he always was the first to step up."

Looking around the Expo Center, many had tears in their eyes.

Ross Shurtleff, Prestonsburg Police Officer, shared many memories with the crowd but closed his speech with this thought:

"I love you, Scotty, thank you for being my friend," Shurtleff said. "Thank you for giving me the best image out there to model myself after. I will never come close to being able to fill your shoes."

Smart read many scripture passages, including Matthew 5:1-16.

Those who shared stories about Scotty during the service were:

-Jimmy Carter

-Donovan Blackburn

-Phillip Reed, Pikeville Public Safety Commissioner

-Chris Edmonds

-Virgil Ray

-Jimmy Anderson

-Ross Shurtleff

-Kevin Thacker

Chelsi Lawson Hamilton, wife, closed the service by thanking the crowd.

"I just want to say thank you, for honoring my husband, and thank you for remembering him," Chelsi Lawson Hamilton said. "Thank you for being his friend, his brother and just thank you so much."

A processional through town followed the service.