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Hero Down: Napa County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Rist Dies Unexpectedly

Napa County, CA – Napa County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) Deputy Justin Rist died unexpectedly on June 23, according to his family.

The longtime deputy was 43 years old, his obituary read.

The NCSO confirmed Deputy Rist’s death in a Facebook post on June 30 and released a statement on behalf of his family.

“We are missing you. You are our hero forever. You were loved by many. You will never be forgotten and loved always,” the Rist family said. “We ask that everyone please respect his memory and privacy of our family. We thank the Napa County Sheriff’s Office and Napa County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association for their support. Thank you and much love to all.”

After graduating from Napa Valley College Police Academy, Deputy Rist was hired by the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO), the St. Helena Star reported.

Deputy Rist, who spoke Spanish fluently, served the YCSO for more than two years before he was laid off in March of 2011 due to budget cuts.

He was then hired by the St. Helena Police Department (SHPD), where he remained until joining the NCSO in 2016.

In addition to his regular duties, Deputy Rist also spent time teaching the D.A.R.E. program, the Napa Valley Register reported in 2019.

Deputy Rist was a beloved son, brother, uncle, and friend, according to his obituary.

His memorial service will be held in St. Helena on July 28.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Napa County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Justin Rist, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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