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Veteran Halifax County police officer dies Friday

Veteran law enforcement officer Maj. Larry Wayne Fears Sr. passed away of natural causes Friday afternoon at Halifax Regional Hospital. He was 66.

Fears, a 35-year veteran of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, served in numerous positions over his three plus decades of service to county residents.

 “He was a vital component of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office and will be greatly missed by everyone,” said Sheriff Fred Clark upon learning of his death Friday afternoon.

He served under six sheriffs including Jim Miller, Woody Bane, Eugene Shortt, Jeff Oakes, Stanley Noblin and Clark.

He began working at the Halifax County Sheriff’s
Office in 1979. Prior to his employment at the sheriff’s office, he was a police officer for the Halifax Police Department. 

 “Major Fears was a very humble man, and everyone had the utmost respect for him. He never met a stranger and was loved by many. I cannot describe how much we will miss him at the sheriff’s office,” Clark said.

“When I started working at the sheriff’s office in 1987, Larry was one of the mentors who taught me the values of being a deputy sheriff. He always stressed that law enforcement officers must act and uphold the role of community servants. He was a man of great integrity.

“He could always make you laugh, and his laugh would fill the room but was always very professional,” Clark added.

“He was such a great asset to the sheriff’s office and the citizens of Halifax County. May God bless his family. Rest in peace, 1802,” the sheriff said.

“Beloved.”

That’s how former Halifax County Sheriff Jeff Oakes described his long-time friend.

“The one word that describes Major Larry Fears, particularly within the law enforcement community, is beloved,” Oakes said. “Larry was the most honorable man I have ever had the pleasure of knowing in my career in law enforcement.

“The gold badge he so proudly wore on his chest signified his devotion to the community as well as to the men and women who worked alongside him for nearly 40 years.

“Larry was a mentor, counselor and confidant, but most of all beloved friend to so many who have passed through the doors of the sheriff’s office over the years,” Oakes said.

“I will forever cherish his friendship and loyalty, his words of wisdom and concern, and his unfailing devotion to his family. God called Larry home to Mary,” the former sheriff added.

Fears was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Baylous Fears, who died last year on April 8.

He was the son of the late Jimmy Fears and the late Novella Crews Fears.

He was a member of Winns Creek Baptist Church and of the National Sheriff’s Association.

He is survived by his son, Larry Wayne Fears Jr., of Halifax; one granddaughter, Brianna Fears, of Halifax; one grandson, Jacob Poteat, of Halifax; three brothers, James E. Fears and wife Ann of Halifax, Macon N. Fears and wife Linda of Halifax and Kenneth L. Fears and wife Aleta of Scottsburg.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Winns Creek Baptist Church with the Rev. Jim Kopco officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

The family will receive friends Tuesday from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m. in the Winns Creek Baptist Church fellowship hall and other times at his home, 2090 Winns Creek Road in Halifax.

Fears’ death marked the second major loss for the sheriff’s office this year.

Steve Cassada, who had worked 34 years in the sheriff’s office, passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 5 at the age of 59.