Horry County, SC – Horry County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Deputy Kent Gause died unexpectedly early Monday morning, according to his department.
The longtime deputy passed away at his residence, the HCSO said in a press release later in the day.
His exact cause of death was not released.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the loss of one of our family members,” the department said. “Deputy Kent Gause passed away early this morning, in his home.”
Deputy Gause had recently become an ordained minister at Cedar Branch Baptist Church and was “thrilled to finally live out his calling,” according to the HCSO.
He devoted more than 35 years of his life to his law enforcement career.
Deputy Gause was assigned to transport deputy duties at the time of his death.
HCSO Chief Deputy Tom Fox said Deputy Gause was not only a coworker, but also a dear friend.
He was a “loving, caring soul who cherished serving others and being a mentor to young men,” Chief Deputy Fox noted.
“God chose Kent to preach his word, and has now taken him to serve as a reminder- life is short and God is in control of our destiny,” he added.
He and Deputy Gause first began working together at the Myrtle Beach Police Department (MBPD) 34 years ago, WMBF reported.
They both ultimately transitioned to the HCSO and worked alongside one another in the decades that followed.
“He’s just one of a kind,” Chief Deputy Fox told WMBF. “A very giving soul. He’s never met anyone he didn’t like.”
Deputy Gause also had a seemingly innate ability to deescalate tense situations.
“He was always the calming person in the room, always the calming voice and always the one that could deal with the inmate,” Chief Deputy Fox noted. “He was a true, true servant of the people.”
J. Reuben Long Detention Center Director Marcus Rhodes said Deputy Gause’s smiles were “infectious,” according to the press release.
“His trademark hugs and ‘I love you’s’ were staples in our organization,” Director Rhodes said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Horry County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Kent Gause, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.