HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Harris County Deputy Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski was laid to rest Thursday in Humble after an emotional memorial service and End of Watch ceremony.
Dozens of officers from across Texas, as well as family and friends, came to honor Scholwinski, a 39-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office.
Scholwinski, 70, died last week after battling COVID-19.
It was a somber and moving sight as fellow deputies carried his flag-draped casket into the church.
Friends and family described Scholwinski as a humble servant and kind, caring human being who was willing to help anyone.
"That’s who Raymond was: he was pure gold," said Scholwinski's captain, Mike Koteras with HCSO District 2.
His adult children adopted their father's passion for hunting, and remember his dedication to his job as a deputy.
They said his diagnosis and death from COVID-19 was not in vain.
“The medical staff came to us at the very end of all of that and said, ‘we have learned so much about his condition that it went on to help so many other people,'" said his son, Anthony Scholwinski. "Even in that hospital bed, that man wanted to help others."
"He’s fighting COVID-19, this plague on humanity. He’s fixing to go to the hospital, and the man still is giving," said Capt. Koteras.
His daughter, Brandi DeLane Scholwinski said she was proud to be his daughter.
"The best thing I learned from my dad was how to live your life, try to be a good example, never quit," she said. "It's not about what you had or didn’t have, rich or poor, nothing like that. He was about trying to be the best person you could be."
Scholwinski's sons also spoke lovingly of their father, remembering him as a man of God with a playful spirit.
"The last words my dad told me were, ‘I love you son. Never take life for granted. I want to be around for a long time,' said his youngest son, Clinton. "Well, dad, I plan to live by these words, and you will forever be in my heart. I love you, dad."
As part of traditional law enforcement funerals, Scholwinski received full honors, including a bagpipe and drum escort, flag folding, last call, 21-gun salute, "Taps," and a helicopter flyover executing the "missing man" formation.
The service was held at First Assembly of God on FM 1960. Admission into the sanctuary was strictly limited to ensure proper social distancing.
Scholwinski is survived by his wife and four adult children.
Scholwinski’s wife also tested positive for COVID-19, but she overcame the illness at home.
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