Celebration of life service for Deputy Austin Aldridge
MOORE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A celebration of life service was held for Deputy Austin Aldridge on Sunday, June 26 at the Church at the Mill.
Deputy Aldridge was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday, June 21.
People lined the streets starting at 1 p.m. for the procession to the church which started at 3 p.m.
The Spartanburg community held a candlelight vigil for Aldridge on Friday, June 24, and people showed up again to for the final farewell.
Community members who have never met Deputy Aldridge feel it is a huge loss for them and they felt the need to show up to pay their respects and to say thank you.
“This is really the best thing that we could actually do to say that we thank them for what they do and to show thanks to the family for letting their loved ones come out here and pretty much keep us safe day in and day out,” said Nathan Oakman.
Others felt it was important to show up to honor the officers who work to make the community safe.
“I feel like they should see the importance of police officers and they should know that all police officers are not just coming out to hurt you they are coming to help you,” Jaliyah Logan.
During the service, multiple people spoke about Deputy Aldridge including Capt. Greg Satterfield, Sheriff Chuck Wright, his sister Stephanie TenBrink and his friend Jonathan Andrews.
Capt. Greg Satterfield with the Uniform Patrol Captain Spartanburg Co. Sheriff’s Office told the story behind the photo with Deputy Aldridge handing a child a teddy bear.
Austin’s sister Stephanie TenBrink spoke about her excitement that her brother was entering the season of life where they could share life experiences.
“He was my little brother and we were just getting into that season of life where we could share the same experiences of raising our families together and watching our children play,” said Stephanie TenBrink. “But before that he was my baby brother.”
TenBrink went on to talk her brother’s kindness and big heart as well as her hope for his legacy that he has left behind.
“I pray and believe that Austin’s death will open the eyes to the risk that law enforcement deal with every day and the fears of their families, that it will help bring them the love and the respect that they deserve. Austin’s name means magnificent. That is the perfect embodiment of who he is. And I know that his legacy will be magnificent as well. So my dear brother, until we meet again on that glorious day, what a legacy you have left for your unborn babies and nephews. I love you forever, sissy.”
His friend Jonathan Andrews also spoke about Deputy Aldridge’s short life and how even though he left so soon, he leaves them with happy memories.
“The number of years I spent with him was many and they were they will last me a lifetime that you didn’t get to live,” said Andrews. “Austin leaves us behind happy memories and unfulfilled ambition.”
Sheriff Chuck Wright spoke later in the service and talked about how the Department will carry on Deputy Aldridge’s legacy. “Austin I want you to know my friend that we will carry your torch from here,” Wright said. “Your torch was not put out Tuesday. Your torch burns bright. We’ll get it from here. We won’t let you down.”
Wright continued, “We’re gonna stand firm and we’re gonna do everything we can to make sure that this community we live in, just like Austin said, if you want it to be better, you have to start with your own.”
At the end of the service, people lined the streets once again for the procession to Westwood Memorial Gardens for the burial. Some people had the American flag on display. Two fire trucks also held a giant American flag up during the procession as Deputy Aldridge took his final ride.
Copyright 2022 WHNS. All rights reserved.