Former Crawford County Sheriff Kirk Wakefield Laid to Rest Surrounded by Hundreds

“I think the greatest lesson he taught us all was to love everyone,” said former Ionia Sheriff Terrence L. Jungel.

Hundreds of people paid their respects to former Crawford County Sheriff Kirk Wakefield Friday.

After serving Crawford County for 17 years, Sheriff Wakefield retired this past December.

On April 15, he passed away, but still lives on for many.

“Everyone who met Kirk Wakefield fell in love with Kirk Wakefield,” said Jungel.

Sheriff Wakefield dedicated 40 years of his life to law enforcement.

“Very well respected and aside from being respected, he was just well liked,” Jungel.

Through those 40 years, he left a lasting impression on everyone he met.

“A stranger was just a friend he hadn’t met yet,” said Jungel. “He treated everybody with the same level of respect no matter what was of life you came from, you were treated exactly the same. I don’t care if you’re the president of the bank or you just got out of prison. You were going to be treated with respect.”

As he was laid to rest Friday, hundreds gathered to pay their respects to a man who gave them so much.

“It speaks volumes I think to the character of the man. That he was well respected and even in death they still respect him,” said Jungel.

Even those who Sheriff Wakefield once placed in handcuffs came to say goodbye.

“He understood that you can’t take a person’s dignity from them. You can take their car and freedom, but never take their dignity and he didn’t do that. He treated everyone with respect and I think that’s why you get respect,” explained Jungel.

A humble leader, a loving husband and an adored father.

“Anyone who hasn’t met Kirk Wakefield will never meet a Kirk Wakefield. Your loss is the fact that you never got to meet him because he was a one of a kind guy and there won’t be another one,” said Jungel.