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Deputy Sean Riley laid to rest

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 5:31 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2022 at 8:29 AM CST
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WAYNE CO., Ill. (WFIE) - It has been nearly one week since Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley was killed in the line of duty.

On Tuesday, his funeral was held at Fairfield Community High School.

[Previous: Community gathers at visitation service to honor Deputy Sean Riley]

More than 30 minutes before the start of the funeral, the high school gym already started to fill up.

The deputy’s pastor, Philip Trent, shared memories of good times with family and friends.

Deputy Riley was a family man, as described by Wayne County Sheriff Chris Otey.

Tri-State first responders remember Deputy Sean Riley
Tri-State first responders remember Deputy Sean Riley

“The only thing Sean cared about more than being a deputy was his family,” says Sheriff Otey. “To them, I cannot express how truly sorry I am.”

Pastor Trent emphasized Deputy Riley’s love for his family by sharing a sweet story between Riley and his wife.

He says, one day, the deputy asked Leslie if they should build a Christmas tree farm together.

“On Christmas morning, there was a bigger box than the others,” says Pastor Trent. “It had sat there for some time, and it was finally her chance to open it. She opened it, and there inside it said, ‘Established 2022 – The Riley Christmas Tree Farm.’ He had already been to the bank. He was ready to make her happy.”

That was just four days before Deputy Riley was shot and killed in the line of duty.

As this community remembers Deputy Riley’s “patented smirk,” as Pastor Trent put it, he asks to the community not to think of law enforcement as a thin blue line, but rather a great blue wall.

“It is the wall that stands between me and my wife and children, between you and your families, and all manners and kinds of evil,” says Pastor Trent.

Near the end of the morning service, Pastor Trent asked every person in law enforcement to stand. He then shared a special message to the children of Deputy Riley.

“I want you to look at all those people over there,” says Pastor Trent. “This is your family. This is your family. I don’t want you to ever forget that. You are not alone.”

Deputy Sean Riley's funeral service in Wayne Co., Ill
Deputy Sean Riley's funeral service in Wayne Co., Ill(WFIE)

An escort of dozens of law enforcement vehicles traveled to Deputy Riley’s hometown of Cisne for the burial and graveside service.

[Related Story: Funeral procession carries fallen deputy]

[Related Story: Bedford Township Fire crews remember Deputy Sean Riley]

A memorial can be made in his honor to the Sean Riley Benefit Fund at the Trust Bank in Cisne.

Here’s is a video of the full service:

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