Tuesday, June 18, 2013
HIRAM – Steven Searcy had one of the most thankless, unglamorous jobs in law enforcement.
Steven Searcy, left, on vacation in Virginia in March 2012. “He lived a good and respectable life,” said his wife, Debbie Searcy.
Each day the newsroom selects one obituary and seeks to learn more about the life of a person who has lived and worked in Maine. We look for a person who has made a mark on the community or the person's family and friends in lasting ways.
He was a civil deputy sheriff for the Oxford County Sheriff's Department for the past 12 years. He worked part time serving residents in the Fryeburg area with documents regarding civil matters, such as divorce summonses, eviction paperwork, civil subpoenas and notices of complaint. It was a perfect fit for Searcy, who thrived on interacting with people in desperate situations.
"He was a smart guy who had a lot of insight on the ways of people," said Scott Cole, Oxford County administrator. "It's a job that requires all the I's and T's to be dotted and crossed properly. All of his paperwork was always straight. He did his job and he did it well."
Searcy, who also worked as a toll collector for the Maine Turnpike Authority, was planning to retire next year. He died Friday, 10 days after being diagnosed with cancer. He was 64.
Searcy's work in Oxford County marked the end of a long and distinguished career that began as a police officer for the Scarborough Police Department. There, he rose through the ranks to sergeant and to field training officer.
One of the highlights of his career was being asked to attend the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., for advanced training in law enforcement.
In May 1989, Searcy joined the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office as a patrol officer.
Early in his career, he oversaw dispatch and was in charge of training and employee development. He rose through the ranks to become a captain, then a major. For a few years, he patrolled the town of Standish.
"He was a good employee," said Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce. "He was very knowledgeable in law enforcement. He had a knack for dealing with the public."
At the time, Cole, the Oxford County administrator, was the town manager in Standish. He reflected Monday about the ice storm in 1998, when he drove around Standish with Searcy to check on residents and businesses.
"He was one of the best officers assigned to Standish," Cole said.
Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant said Searcy played an important role in its civil division.
"He did a great job for us. We will miss him. It's a big loss for his friends and family and the community he lives in," Gallant said.
In addition to his work with the sheriff's office, Searcy was a collector at the New Gloucester toll plaza.
He was married to Debbie Searcy for 30 years. She sobbed Monday as she talked about their life together.
She said her husband was generous and loyal to his friends and family. She recalled the day he let his friend borrow his new car to drive to Florida.
"He was always thinking about how he could help people and make their lives better," his wife said. "All he wanted was to see people happy."
At the end of his life, many of his friends rallied around him.
About eight weeks ago, Searcy became ill. Ten days ago, he was diagnosed with liver and lung cancer. The same day, doctors told him he had two weeks to two months to live. His wife held a living wake for him, attracting many of his friends and colleagues.
"He felt proud and honored that they took time to see him," his wife said. "I think it made him realize that he lived a good and respectable life. He was at peace in the end. He wasn't afraid to die after seeing that he was loved here."
Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: