When a client becomes a mentor, friend and hero – a tribute to Sheriff Larry Dever by Jordan Rose, Founder, Managing Partner, Rose Law Group

Hundreds line up at the doors to the gym before the start of a memorial service at Buena High School for Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever. / Kelly Presnell/Arizona Daily Star

Sheriff Larry Dever was all three . . . and more

By Jordan Rose

Founder, managing partner, Rose Law Group

(Editor’s note: Rose Law Group represented Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever with his friend of the court brief before the U.S. Supreme Court’s hearing on SB 1070. Jordan Rose attended Wednesday’s memorial service for Mr. Dever, who died tragically Sept. 18 in an auto accident near Williams, Ariz.)

For the past three years I communicated with Sheriff Dever nearly every other day and often several times a day. We, of course, talked about his legal case and fight to enforce immmigation laws, but he also give me sage advice.

I will miss the back and forth with a man who knew what it will take to solve the problem of criminal activity coming into the U.S. over our border.  I will also miss his personal advice: advice about life — play harder with my kids, enjoy every minute with my family — and for managing people, how to serve the community and watch the Mormon Tabernacle choir.

I thought, as my kids grow up, Sheriff Dever would be my go-to-guy on how to keep them on a good path to success because he and Nancy so successfully raised totally wonderful children.

I am selfishly in grief for the loss of my yoda.  A man of few words, who, when chose to speak, he spoke truth about any problem, any question, any joy.

The memorial service was a tremendous tribute to a man who leaves a legacy of integrity and family.  Sheriff Dever believed you have to give your all and then push yourself a little more, a little beyond what you ever thought you could do.  He knew we all could do our best, but said what we know to be our best is not necessarily good enough. Push yourself more, give more, do more, act more deliberately.

His son, Brendon Dever gave the most phenomenal tribute I have ever heard and mentioned the family talked frequently about how Sheriff Dever would say “just 400 more yards,” regardless of whether the task at hand would take years to complete. He never gave up, nor gave in, nor allowed someone to trip him up one his path to obtaining his goals.

Sheriff Dever thought there were two kinds of mistakes: those of the mind and those of the heart, acting sheriff Rodney Rothrock said of his boss and friend.  He said mistakes of the mind, when someone makes a decision that ends badly, are forgiveable.  Mistakes of the heart, when someone intentionally makes a decision he knows to be wrong are unforgiveable.  Sheriff Dever never made mistakes of the heart.

Sheriff Larry Dever was the person I admire most outside my immediate family.

He was a great client, mentor, friend and hero who I will miss every single day.


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