Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Deputy Michael Page

Sheriff's Deputy Michael Page was killed in the line of duty on the morning of Saturday, June 30, 2007 north of New Boston in Bowie County, Texas

Michael was responding to a report of a car hitting a telephone pole on Daniel Chapel Road, north of New Boston when he observed a man running into the nearby woods. He pursued the suspect and a scuffle ensued in the woods where Deputy Page was struck over the head and then shot in the shoulder with his own weapon. Paramedics and other officers who responded to the scene located Deputy Page as he walked himself out of the woods. He was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Michael Health Center where he was pronounced dead.

A search team using bloodhounds found the body of the suspect, Henry Leon Wakefield, 36, of DeKalb, Texas in a wooded area near the crash scene with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Page's funeral mass was held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Elizabeth Street, followed by burial at nearby Holy Cross Cemetery. Bowie County Sheriff James Prince and several of Page's fellow deputies escorted the casket in and out of the church. Mourners packed the church and hundreds more stood outside, listening to the service over a speaker. Monsignor Gerald Priest, who officiated the service, spoke of the sorrow of Page's death but also of the need for faith. "Right now, what we need to do in our lives and our Lord is to continue to live and prepare," he said. A 21-gun salute was given as Page was laid to rest. Bowie County Sheriff James Prince presented the American flag to Page's family. After the service, Prince said the entire department feels a great loss as do all the other agencies in Texarkana. He said the officers would "pull together and work together" to get through. "It's a tough time. A tough memory. But memories are good, too," he said.

At 11:21 a.m. Tuesday, Bowie County Deputy Michael Page's unit number was called over local police radios for the last time. The radio supervisor then advised central dispatch that No. 323-Page's unit number-was out of service. "Show 323 out of service. He has gone home."

Deputy Page had served with the Bowie County Sheriff's Department for three years, and had previously served with the Texarkana Police Department for five years. He was the first Bowie County deputy killed in the line of duty since the 1960s. Michael was survived by his parents, three sisters, two brothers in law, two nephews, a stepson, a wife, two young children, and numerous friends. Per his widow, "Michael never got caught up in work politics; he was a good, honest, caring person who was extremely intelligent and hilarious!"


Source Data:
• Lucille Mehrkam, History and Genealogy of the Family of Jacob Klepper/Clepper Family and Malcolm McAlpine Family (The Gregath Company, 1996), Library of Congress under card number 86-62751 (He and his family are not listed in the book, but his widow and children are Clepper descendants).

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