Jimmy DeFoor buried at Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Abilene | KTAB

ABILENE Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- Jimmy David DeFoor, veteran, Abilene police officer and avid veterans services advocate, died June 10, 2022 at the age of 75. His years of service and dedication to his country, community and fellow veterans were honored with a memorial service on June 16. .

“He just constantly gave. To veterans in the community. and never thought of himself,” says Craig Wooten, Texas State Veterans Cemetery on-site representative.

Enlisting in the Navy as a young man, DeFoor served three tours of duty in Vietnam. There he suffered the devastating loss of his brother Victor DeFoor. He then served in the US Army Reserve.

“Service meant everything to him. Everything he did was in the service of someone. Says DeFoor’s oldest son, Kevin DeFoor.

Upon returning home, DeFoor married and enrolled in the Abilene Police Academy, rising through the ranks as a patrolman, car patrolman, SWAT team, and bomb squad member, even providing security when Presidents Ford and Carter visited the city – a man known for his work throughout the Big Country.

“As soon as people see my last name, they ask me if I’m related to Jimmy. I tell them yes, he’s my dad,” Kevin says.

After 21 years of dedicated work, DeFoor retired from the force as a detective sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division, although, as his obituary put it, “retirement did not agree with Jimmy “.

“He would give the clothes from his back to support these veterans,” Wooten says.

DeFoor volunteered for active duty, forming a national police force in Panama and serving again in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He eventually returned to Abilene, assuming the role of director of the Taylor County Veterans Services Office.

“The Veterans Services office was his love, but the cemetery was his passion,” Kevin says.

Among other passions, DeFoor was instrumental in establishing a state cemetery for veterans in Abilene, later serving as caretaker and representative.

“I’ve heard people say it wouldn’t have happened without him,” Wooten says.

For many years, DeFoor ensured that no veteran went to his grave alone, rallying local troops to ensure his brothers and sisters in arms were sent with honor.

“While we say they were transferred to Heaven, we also know he will be missed here,” VFW Post 6873 Chaplain Charlie Bowen says.

His family requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the cemetery to fund the completion of his final project – A Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This project meant a lot to DeFoor and many other Big Country veterans. Donations can be made through the Abilene Community Foundation.

Larry D. Stahl