Thornsbury said Crum always dreamed about being the sheriff. Crum's passion, other than his family, was for the law.
"It was his lifelong dream," Thornsbury said. "It was his dream; his destiny. When you think about it, many of us never get the chance to live our dreams. He did."
Crum stepped down last year and put everything his family had on the line to run for sheriff, Thornsbury said. He won the election and was sworn into office in January, in the pouring rain, the judge said. He said it also rained Thursday night when he swore Rosie Crum, the sheriff's wife of 37 years, into office. She will serve as interim sheriff.
The words "serve" and "protect" were added when the sheriff took office, and those same words were spoken when Rosie Crum took the oath. Those who spoke during said the sheriff had been planning to add, "To serve and protect" to the sheriff's cruisers.
"His dream was to improve drug enforcement and he did it," Thornsbury said. "His work resulted in 57 felony convictions in 93 days. He wanted those addicted people healed ... He wanted the number one social problem we have to be corrected. And he worked tirelessly."
John Mark Hubbard, president of the Mingo County Commission, said the county mourned the sheriff who was called to make a difference.
"Shame on anyone in this room within the sound of my voice who will not make sure that the change that this man laid his life down for does not continue," Hubbard said, earning a standing ovation from the crowd and the law enforcement officers present. "Shame on us again if this county goes back to what this man was willing to die for."
Josh Adair, who sang for Crum's campaign, sang "Amazing Grace" during the service, the soft whisper of the crowd singing along accompanying him. He sang Vince Gill's "Go Rest High on That Mountain" while Rosie Crum leaned over her husband's open casket, a uniformed officer at her side.
Deputies, from departments around the state, carried the flag draped coffin to the waiting hearse, past uniformed officers with their arms raised in salute.
A graveside service was held for Crum at Lenore Memorial Gardens in Lenore.Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.