Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia


Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. Madam Speaker, it is with a heavy heart and
solemn remembrance that I rise today to pay tribute to a great man and
outstanding public servant, the former Sheriff of Early County,
Georgia, Mr. Jimmie Ray Murkerson. Sadly, Sheriff Murkerson passed away
on Sunday, January 27, 2019. Funeral services will be held on Friday,
February 1, 2019, at 2 p.m. at the First Assembly of God Church in
Blakely, Georgia.
The Blakely, Georgia native was born on June 7, 1947 to the union of
the late Leon and Cherrie Murkerson. In addition to being a loving
father, son, husband, and friend, Jimmie was also a Vietnam Veteran,
store owner {Early Tree Service and Blakely Floor Covering), farmer,
former Blakely City Councilman, and former Early County Sheriff.
Sheriff Murkerson was employed with the Early County Sheriff's Office
for more than 34 years and he proved to be a strong and revered leader.
As the chief law enforcement officer, he was responsible for patrolling
and responding to calls within the 516 square mile area of Early
County, where the population is just over 10,000 people. During his
tenure as Sheriff, he spearheaded the consolidation of various law
enforcement services in the county, which resulted in more efficient,
resourceful, and proactive law enforcement for the citizens of Early
Sheriff Murkerson embodied the definition of a public servant through
his strong leadership, steadfast dedication, and unwavering compassion.
He served on the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council;
the Governor's Children and Youth Coordinating Council; the Criminal
Justice Coordinating Council; the Board of Directors of the ABAC Police
Academy; and the Executive Board of the Georgia Partnership for
Excellence in Education. He also served as the 1997-98 President of the
Georgia Sheriffs' Association and the President of the Georgia
Sheriffs' Youth Homes.
Sheriff Murkerson's dedication to enforcing the law and protecting
the public earned him several awards including the 2011 Georgia
Sheriffs' Association's Sheriff of the Year award; the Georgia
Sheriffs' Association's Distinguished Humanitarian Award (which he
received twice); and the Governor's Peace Officers Award.
Maya Angelou once said, ``A great soul serves everyone all the time.
A great soul never dies.'' Sheriff Murkerson is undoubtedly great
because of his distinguished service to his community, devotion to his
work, and the compassion he showed for his friends and loved ones.
He is survived by his wife, Sarah; children, Tracie and Jimmie, Jr.;
and a host of family, friends, and loved ones who will miss him deeply.
Madam Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join my wife, Vivian, and me,
along with the more than 730,000 people of Georgia's Second
Congressional District in paying tribute to former Early County Sheriff
Jimmie Ray Murkerson for his legacy of service to Early County and the
great state of Georgia. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family,
friends, and loved ones during this difficult time of bereavement.
Moreover, we pray that they will be consoled and comforted by an
abiding faith and the Holy Spirit in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
116th Congress