Memorial garden honors Grayson County deputy - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Memorial garden honors Grayson County deputy

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Grayson County Deputy Chad Key (File photo) Grayson County Deputy Chad Key (File photo)

SHERMAN, Texas-- Friday was a very special day in Grayson County.

The Chad Key Memorial Garden was officially opened to the public. A crowd gathered at the Grayson County Jail to remember a deputy killed nearly five years ago.

"They say in law enforcement you're brothers by choice, not by blood, and you stick together," said Johnny Allison, Key’s father-in-law.

Key, a Grayson County Sheriff's Department deputy, was killed in the line of duty when a drunk driver hit the deputy as he was directing traffic.

"Just touched that the community still remembers, I mean I obviously the family never forgets but that so many in the community still remember and care it means the world to me," said April Key, the deputy's wife. "I don't know how to say exactly how thankful I am for this."

People and businesses around the community pitched in to pay for the memorial.

"This didn't cost anything. They did it from their hearts and that's when it means something there," Allison said.

But Sheriff Tom Watts wasn't surprised how the community rallied together. "This is Grayson County. That's what people do," he said.

A project that has been in the works for over a year is finally ready to help the family and community remember Chad Key's life.

"Me and everyone has a place to come to reflect on Chad and anyone in law enforcement that has been lost," April Key said. "His kind heart and his amazing personality and kind spirit, that's what I want them to remember him for."

She added that even though he had only been with the department for two months, his personality made him easy to like.

"He was a huge guy, but his heart was just twice as big as he was," she said.

"The people that work with him all they ever say about him are the good things, there's nothing bad to say about him, and I think that's why his legacy lives on." Sheriff Watts said.

This memorial garden is so important for Key's family.

"Me and our boys will, it's somewhere for us to come that's extremely special for us," April Key said.

"Chad was a huge, huge part of our family and we miss him dearly every single day. And I just pray for every other officer that's out there, or first responders, that they will be brought home safely every day to their families because I hate to see anyone go through this," said Loretta Allison, the deputy's mother-in-law.

April Key said she was included in the planning of the memorial garden every step of the way. The garden is located at the northwest corner of the Grayson County jail.

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