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Hero Down: Terrell County Sheriff Santiago Gonzalez Jr. Dies From Medical Complications

Terrell County, TX – Terrell County Sheriff Santiago Gonzalez Jr. died unexpectedly on March 2 after suffering medical complications, according to his department.

The 55-year-old sheriff’s exact cause of death was not released.

The Terrell County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) announced the longtime lawman’s death the following day.

“It is with a heavy heart that we inform our Terrell County brothers and sisters that on Wednesday March 2 2022 Terrell County Sheriff Santiago Gonzalez Jr. [passed] on to be with our Lord due to medical complications,” the TCSO said in a Facebook post.

Sheriff Gonzalez earned a degree in criminal justice prior to entering the Federal Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, according to his obituary.

“It was here that he began to see the realization of his childhood dreams of becoming a Border Patrol Agent,” the tribute read. “He completed the rigorous training, and with honors he became a Border Patrol Agent at the age of 22, and never looked back.”

Sheriff Gonzalez devoted 30 years of his life to his U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) career.

“He enjoyed working with the many legions of fellow agents,” his obituary read. “He will truly be remembered as a legend amongst the ranks of the Border Patrol for many years to come.”

After retiring from the USBP in 2018, he ran for sheriff of Terrell County.

He began serving as the county’s “top law enforcement agent” in 2020, according to his obituary.

“We will dearly miss his hearty laugh, his boisterous voice, and even that look we got if we stepped out of line,” the tribute read. “Santiago will be remembered as a great man who gave his life in the service of his community.”

Sheriff Gonzalez leaves behind his wife, Minerva, and his children, Melissa and Santiago.

He is also survived by his mother, granddaughter, siblings, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins, friends, and colleagues.

Sheriff Gonzalez was laid to rest on March 10.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Terrell County Sheriff Santiago Gonzalez Jr., 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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