YORK, S.C. – The town of York, South Carolina is grieving after they learned that a deputy and lifelong public servant of the community was killed in a car accident while on his way into work, The Herald reported.

Authorities say that 77-year-old Charles “Doody” Dunlap was currently serving as the chief bailiff for the last 20 years at the Moss Justice Center courthouse after retiring from his role as a deputy with the York County Sheriff’s Office.

 

According to the official report, Dunlap was on his way to the courthouse around 6:40 a.m. Thursday when he was involved in a two-car collision on S.C. 5. Investigators say that Dunlap was killed when a truck driving in the opposite direction crossed the center line and struck his vehicle head-on. Dunlap was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other driver was transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

In his 77 years, Charles Dunlap served in law enforcement and in the fire department for approximately 50 years. 

A true life of service.

(From Megan Fish)

(From Megan Fish)

 

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said that Dunlap had started service with the sheriff’s office in 1973. He was among the first African American deputy in the York office. Tolson said that he proudly wore a badge for the rest of his life.

“When anyone talks about a public servant, Mr. Dunlap’s name was always at the top of the list,” Tolson said. ‘This is a man who spent his entire adult life serving the public any way that he could. His loss hurts not just those of us who knew him well, but anyone who ever met him at the courts. He was a friend to all.”

Prior to working with the sheriff’s office, Dunlap had served as a first responder with the local fire department. Following his retirement as a deputy sheriff, Dunlap worked as a court bailiff for the sheriff’s office and clerk of court, until his passing on Thursday.
 
 
 
Those who served with him at the courthouse said that his call to order was legendary. They said that of all the people who would show up to court that day, Dunlap would always be the best dressed.  

“You could always depend on him to be the best dressed man in the courtroom,” said Kevin Brackett, 16th Circuit Solicitor.

Brackett said that his passing would be difficult for everyone who knew him.

“Mr. Dunlap was a public servant and a great man,” Brackett said. “Mr. Dunlap was a beloved member of our courthouse family. You could always depend on him to be cheerful and helpful no matter how stressful the situation. He is more of a fixture than the witness stand and we are all in shock at this sudden and terrible loss.”

 

“Charles “Doody” Dunlap his entire life to serving the people of York County, and the people of York County and here at the courthouse are poorer because of his tragic death.”

David Hamilton, the York County Clerk of Court, worked with Dunlap for the last 23 years.

“Mr, Dunlap was the epitome of a kind-hearted, dependable, servant of the public,” Hamilton said. “I could not have asked for a better person to work with. He was a true gentleman. A gentle giant.”

Rest in peace, Mr. Dunlap.

 

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