|Birth: ||Oct. 31, 1951|
|Death: ||Sep. 18, 2012|
Larry was born in Saint David to Kline Price Dever and Annie Mae Goodman Dever, she a member of a pioneer family who helped settle the San Pedro River Valley area. Larry died just four days after his 86-year-old mother, Annie Mae Dever, died of cancer. He and his wife, Nancy, are the parents of six sons. The oldest serves as a major in the U.S. Army, three work for Arizona law enforcement agencies, one as a firefighter, and one attends college. Larry was a member of the Latter Day Saints Church in Saint David.
From "Phoenix New Times" Blog published Wednesday, Sept 19, 2012.
"Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, a likeable symbol of the lawless U.S. border with Mexico, died in a one-car crash on a forest road near Williams on Tuesday night.
The cause of accident is under investigation; media reports say Dever was on his way to a hunting trip with one of his six sons.
Dever is survived by his wife, Nancy, six sons and 13 grandchildren.
Dever was a cowboy-hat-and-boot-wearing, no-nonsense lawman whose right-wing political views were peppered with pragmatism, a politician trusted by Republicans and some Democrats.
A resident of Saint David, Dever became a deputy in 1976 and still carries scars on his face from a shootout with members of a Christian cult in 1982. Because of the county's porous border with Mexico, illegal immigration has been Dever's top issue since he was first elected in 1996. The issue became even bigger following crackdowns in California and western Arizona, causing more migrants to choose Cochise County as their route to American jobs. Dever's knowledge and experience on the hot-button issue was sought by nearly everyone trying to understand the problems of border enforcement.
Arizona senators Jon Kyl and John McCain just released this statement:
'We were deeply saddened to learn about the sudden death of our friend Larry Dever. We spent a great deal of time at the border with Sheriff Dever and know first-hand his long commitment to keeping the people of our state safe. We also admired Sheriff Dever's strength to speak out when he believed more needed to be done to secure our border.
Sheriff Dever was not only a leader in Cochise County, but also across Arizona and throughout the law enforcement community. Sheriff Dever was a man of honor, integrity, and selfless service to the State of Arizona. He will be greatly missed.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Nancy, their sons, and the rest of Dever family.' "
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Published Sep 21, 2012 in "San Pedro Valley News-Sun, Benson, Arizona.
"SIERRA VISTA — Details for the memorial service for the late Sheriff Larry Dever have been announced and will take place on Wednesday at the Performing Arts Center at Buena High School. The public service is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and last two hours. Dever was killed Tuesday evening when his pickup truck left the road and rolled two miles north of White Horse Lake on his way to meet with family members for a camping and hunting trip near the lake. Additionally, a traditional "walk down" for Dever will occur in Tombstone beginning at 6th Street and Allen Street at noon on Sunday. Dever's horse will be leading the procession. The death has been determined to be an accident by the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, though a full report will not be available for a few weeks, said Trish Lees, spokeswoman for the Coconino County Public Health Services District."
Written by Dana Cole and published Oct 3, 2012 in the "San Pedro Valley News Sun" Benson, Arizona. "Early Wednesday afternoon, people started lining Highway 90 from south of Benson to Sierra Vista. Wanting to pay tribute to Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, hundreds lined the highway to watch a memorial procession in Dever's honor. In a show of support for the late sheriff, his wife, Nancy, and the Dever family, some held signs bearing messages of condolences and some waved flags. A few had children in tow. Guided by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office, the procession included Dever's family, close friends and dignitaries, along with law enforcement from Arizona and neighboring states as it traveled south from Benson and made its way to the Buena Performing Arts Center in Sierra Vista for Dever's public memorial service. The outpouring of support from the state and country served as a testament to the respect and admiration Dever earned during his four terms as Cochise County's sheriff. Law enforcement officers from throughout the country sent condolences and sentiments, while several out-of-town officials attended Dever's memorial service. "There were at least five sheriffs from the east coast alone," said Carol Capas, the county sheriff's office spokeswoman. "The section we had reserved (at the Performing Arts Center) for dignitaries filled up quickly. Some of them were high ranking officials from Fort Huachuca. We had Tempe PD, Mesa PD, Cottonwood PD, Benson and Sierra Vista PD, Sierra Vista Fire, Utah State Police, Sedona Police, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Pima County Sheriff's Office, Department of Transportation and more." Capas said she started counting the law enforcement vehicles represented in Dever's procession, but stopped at 125, with a long line stretching as far as she could see that had gone uncounted. James Henderson, one of the hundreds of spectators standing along Highway 90, said he started counting vehicles long after the beginning of the procession had passed by but, like Capas, stopped after the number topped 100. "I was just trying to get an idea of how many vehicles there were, but I gave up," he said. "I'm guessing somewhere around 400, but I really don't know." All along the route, people commented about the vast representation of law enforcement from other areas of the state. "It was hard for me to keep a stiff upper lip," said Bert Shill, who waved an Arizona flag as the procession passed. "The number of vehicles that participated in the tribute was amazing. And then to see all the different counties from all parts of Arizona was just incredible. I thought it was a fitting tribute for a very deserving and respected man." "This was an incredible thing to see," said Karl Hamel of the Rain Valley Ranch area. Hamel, who watched the procession with his wife, Sylvia, and son, Kenny, said, "There were law enforcement agencies from all over. We saw Cottonwood, Pima County, Maricopa County and New Mexico. I thought this was a great tribute for a great sheriff." Susan Richards, a Whetstone resident who was traveling just ahead of the procession as she headed south from Benson, said, "There were miles and miles of emergency vehicles lined up along the highway when I drove by, all of them preparing to join the procession. And there were hundreds of citizens stopped along (Highway) 90 to watch," she added. "When I first heard the newscasts about Larry Dever's accident, I was stunned. He was such a well-liked, highly respected sheriff. I thought the procession in his honor was a fitting tribute. It was a reflection of how well respected Larry Dever was, not only throughout this region, but across Arizona and the country. His influence was far reaching and he will be missed." People standing along the route – from Benson to Sierra Vista - held signs and flags, many saluted as the procession drove by, while others stood silently and watched the long line of vehicles. Law enforcement agencies, to include police departments of Douglas, Sierra Vista, Benson, Willcox, Huachuca City and Bisbee, along with the Department of Public Safety, volunteered to take calls for the county sheriff's office during the memorial procession and service that followed, said Capas. In addition, the sheriff's office command center was staffed by other agencies so the county sheriff's personnel could attend the service, said Capas, who expressed her gratitude to the participating agencies for the way they all came together and assisted. "All these things made this an invaluable asset in the planning of an event such as this," Capas said. She also extended words of praise to Chief Deputy Rod Rothrock, whom she said, "was there to oversee, orchestrate, monitor and participate while others were not." The crowd attending the memorial service Wednesday evening overflowed Buena Performing Arts Center, which seats 1,300. "The tremendous attendance you see here tonight is a reflection of how far and how deep the loss of Larry Dever has affected our world," said Rothrock, one of nine speakers at the memorial service. Other speakers included: Brendon Dever, son of Larry Dever; Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl; Ken Kimmel, Sierra Vista police chief; Randy Redmond, Sierra Vista fire chief; Harold Eavenson, sheriff of Rockwell County, Texas; Aaron Kennard, executive director of the National Sheriff's Association; Ralph Ogdon, sheriff of Yuma County; Todd Garrison of the Southwestern Border Sheriff's Coalition and sheriff of Dona Ana County, N.M."
Written by Bill Hess of the "Sierra Vista Herald" and published Sep 25, 2013 in the "Arizona Range News" Willcox, Arizona.
ST. DAVID — At 6:38 p.m. Wednesday, the sky over this small farming community's high school was filled with red, white, blue, gold, yellow and purple balloons.
As the balloons were released in the ever-darkening eastern skies, the sun was setting far to the west outlining distant mountain ranges.
The release at exactly 6:38 p.m. was significant for the family of Nancy Dever, for it was at that time, on Sept. 18, 2012, that her husband, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, was in a vehicle accident in northern Arizona which took his life.
More than 125 people gathered in left field at the St. David High School baseball diamond, a place the sheriff played shortstop for his alma mater some years ago.
Before the short ceremony began, members of the school's football team joined the event, coming over from their practice field to honor Dever, who when he attended the school was the quarterback.
Bradley Dever, Larry and Nancy's fifth son — the couple had six boys — said, "This year has been hard for us, for mom."
But he hasten to add, the family appreciates the support they have received from friends.
"It's been a blessing as well," Bradley said.
As people entered the ball field, a sandwich board-like device was full of photos of the sheriff, of Nancy and of family members.
It rapidly became a makeshift monument, as flowers were put on the ground near it.
One of the 13 grandchildren, Jace, pointed to a photo of his grandparents, who were both wearing a plastic lei around their necks at an event they were at, telling a small girl, just about the same height as he, "My papa."
While it was a solemn event, for the young children, it was a little difficult for them to comprehend it, so many of them went down slides in a small nearby playground, or chased one another around.
But soon enough it was time for them to join the adults.
Bradley said the family wanted to do something on the date of his father's death, something that would be brief and simple ending at the time "he left us."
Those who attended the ceremony were people "who embraced the Dever family," the son said.
Sheriff Mark Dannels said he worked for Larry for many years and remembers how he trained him to be a law enforcement leader.
After he was sworn in as the sheriff, and went into the sheriff's office, there was the chair Larry had used for 16 years and Dannels said it truly belonged to Nancy and he had it taken to the Dever home.
And Nancy is a continuing part of the department's family, he said.
"Nancy, thank you from the bottom of our hearts," Dannels said.
Bill Daniel told the crowd he and Larry Dempster are writing a book about Larry, with a working title, "Dever," subject to change.
After his comment, Daniel said the story will describe in words and photos Larry, a Cochise County sheriff.
While interviewing sheriffs from around the country, "many of them choked up when they talked about Larry," he said.
His influence was not only in Cochise County and Arizona but nationwide, Daniel said.
"Larry Dever is a phenomenon. He touched so many people," he said.
Nancy said her husband's old office chair now sits in a special room, in their home full of other symbols of his career and special memories of him, which the family enjoys.
"It's called Papa's room," she said.
To those who attended the Wednesday event, Nancy said even though it was a year ago Larry died it's really "yesterday and today," and the support she and the family has received is something "that will last forever."
Annie Mae Goodman Dever (1926 - 2012)
GOOD GUYS WEAR WHITE HATS
SHERIFF DAD PAPA
DEC. 29, 1973
Saint David Cemetery
Created by: Candy
Record added: Sep 19, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97408677