Former Chattooga sheriff dies - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Former Chattooga sheriff dies

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SUMMERVILLE, CHATTOOGA COUNTY (WRCB) - A long-time Chattooga County Sheriff has died.

Ralph Kellett served Chattooga County for 17 years, before his defeat in the 2008 primary.

Sheriff Kellett had been battling colon cancer, and died Tuesday morning.

Friends and colleagues remember former Chattooga County Sheriff, Ralph Kellett.

Kellett died Tuesday morning, after losing his battle with cancer.

"It's just one of those you know it's coming, but you didn't wanna hear it," says Chattooga County Probate Judge Jon Payne.

Word traveled quickly through the Chattooga County Georgia courthouse.

"There's nothing you can say but he was a good man..loving father, and a good grandfather... All around a really good gentleman," says Gary McConnel.

McConnel says he and Kellett were lifelong friends, graduating in Chattooga County high's first senior class in 1962.

Kellett's term as sheriff followed McConnell's, who was the only sheriff in the history of the county to serve longer than Kellett's 17 years.

Kellett lost the democratic primary in 2008 but his name still hangs on the wall of the courthouse.

"I could never bring myself to call him sheriff...I'd called him newny... His nickname and high school and his nickname today," says McConnel.

"Sometimes you look at him and watch and wonder... Is he gone bury his heals down...and you'd see him do it and like yep...he's a sheriff," says Payne.

Not your typical sheriff some say. Payne says he rarely carried a gun that was visible, but his kindness you couldn't miss.

"What I'll remember about Ralph Kellett is that he tried to do for everyone he could in that job... You can't do for everyone but he tried," says Payne.

 Kellett had been battling colon cancer for a few years, Payne says in the fall he started to digress.

"Last time I actually saw him he was holding on till that baby could get here right before Christmas," remembers Payne.

Kellett's first grandbaby came just in time for the holidays.

"People will remember Ralph as a good person, just a good moral individual, he loved people and people loved him," says Payne.

Mason Funeral Home is handling the arrangements, but they have not yet been set.

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