TUPELO – Friends remembered State Trooper Master Sgt. Steve Hood on Monday as a man with a hearty laugh and a deep devotion to God.
Hundreds gathered at Harrisburg Baptist Church for the funeral of Hood, 50, who died Friday in the line of duty. In the throng were Mississippi state troopers, law enforcement officials from across the state, Gov. Haley Barbour and troopers from nearby states such as Arkansas and Alabama.
Rev. David Langerfeld of Harrisburg Baptist Church remembered Hood as a positive influence in his life.
“I always enjoyed being around Steve,” he said, recalling his infectious laughter.
“You could hear him (laughing) from miles away. When he laughed, we laughed,” Langerfield said.
Hood, of Guntown, loved to sing gospel songs, Langerfeld said. “He encouraged me with his music,” he said. “He’ll be singing for Him throughout all eternity.”
Trooper First Class Ray Hall, also a pastor, remembered his friend and fellow trooper as someone who loved life.
“He was just full of laughter,” Hall said.
Hood survived a life-threatening tractor accident last year, and Hall said that experience made Hood stronger spiritually.
“God restored his family time, and he praised God for it. God restored his patrol time. But most of all, God restored his Christian walk,” Hall said. “God was No. 1 in his life.”
Singer Micah Lambert sang “If You Could See Me Now” and “My Tribute.”
Other music that began and ended the service came from Hood himself, in the form of gospel songs from a CD he had recorded. Before the service, photos of Hood and his family were shown on two large screens in the church.
A train delayed the arrival of some family members, friends and troopers to Tupelo Memorial Park for the graveside service.
Hood was escorted to the grave by six fellow troopers of the patrol’s honor guard. He was also honored with several rifle volleys and a bugler sounded taps. A bagpiper played “Amazing Grace.”
Faint sobbing could be heard as a memorial for Hood was broadcast over the patrol’s radio communications network: “Job well done.”
Contact Sheena Barnett at (662) 678-1580 or email@example.com. Photographer C. Todd Sherman contributed to this report.
Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal