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Remembering a fallen officer

DOUGLAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES perform a flag-folding ceremony at Chris Dewey's memorial service Monday night in Mahnomen. (Riham Feshir/Tribune)1 / 2
Emily Dewey releases a dove at the end of the memorial service Monday while Chris Dewey's mother, Poppe Anderson; stepfather, Keith Anderson; and close friend, Sarah Fulton, stand by her side. (Riham Feshir/Tribune)2 / 2

Area law enforcement officials want Emily Dewey to know that she will always be part of the family.

It takes a special person to be an officer but it takes an even more special person to be married to one, Clay County Sheriff Bill Berquist said.

"Spouses, too, put their lives on hold as part of the law enforcement family," he added.

A public memorial service was held at the Mahnomen High School Monday night, where community members joined Emily Dewey in saying goodbye to her husband -- a sheriff deputy whose story touched the hearts of many.

Christopher Dewey's family, friends, supporters and fellow law enforcement officers filled a gymnasium where a service was held to celebrate his life -- from childhood up to the day he passed away on Aug. 9.

Following a brief flag folding ceremony conducted by Douglas County sheriff deputies, visitors watched a slideshow documenting Dewey's happy times.

Lyrics from "I'm Still a Guy" by Brad Paisley, a song that played in the background of the slideshow, put a smile on many faces as the bittersweet experience of the memorial continued.

The light-hearted, humorous song fit Dewey's personality. His family members, friends and colleagues all describe him as a funny guy with a unique sense of humor.

Music was part of an effort to make the Dewey memorial upbeat, a goal Mahnomen County Sheriff Doug Krier wanted to achieve.

But Pastor Chad Peterson said that doesn't mean the sadness and heartache are over. "Grieving may go on for some time."

For Emily Dewey, it's been hard to grieve because of how much her story has been in the public eye.

"It's tough to go through this in a spotlight," she said.

To help with the grieving process, with her family standing by her side, Emily Dewey released a dove at the end of the memorial service.

That part of the service brought tears to Dewey's mother, Poppe Anderson, who was comforted by many friends and even strangers who had never met her son.

Law enforcement officers from White Earth, Douglas County, the State Patrol and Mahnomen County, as well firefighters from all over the region attended the service.

Emily Dewey will be visiting with more officers in Colorado where Dewey sought rehabilitation a few weeks after he was shot in the line of duty last year.

After spending a week in Colorado with her sister, Emily Dewey plans to spend some time alone, but Berquist said she "will always be in our hearts."

"She's going to be by herself but she's not going to be alone," Krier added.