MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — The McLennan County Sheriff's Office is mourning the loss of one of their own.
Stephen Kirk January, the Office's Chief Deputy, has passed away at the age of 64 from pancreatic cancer, according to an obituary.
January was born in Waco in 1948. He attended La Vega High School and Baylor University. He married his wife Alice in 1977.
January began his career in law enforcement in 1988, when he joined the Waco Police Department, serving with them for over 23 years and earning numerous commendations, including the Police Medal of Honor award.
After retiring from Waco PD in 2012, January became an investigator for the McLennan County District Attorney's Office.
In 2016, January was hired by McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara as a Captain in the McLennan County Sheriff's Department. January spent time supervising patrol, working courthouse security and working with the Criminal Investigation Division, MHMR Unit and "Cold Case Unit".
January was later promoted to the position of Chief Deputy, a role he served in until his death.
January also had a Master Peace Officer license with the State of Texas.
"It's a bad day for law enforcement, for county, and for the state," said McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara. "He was the best lawman I've ever known. His boots will be hard to fill. He was a true lawman and a true friend to everyone who knew him. He was loyal, kind, and dependable. Loved by everybody. He was dedicated to his job and to the citizens of this county."
January is survived by his wife, Alice January; his sons, Brandon and Blake; and five grandchildren.
Visitation for January will be held at Waco Memorial Funeral Home at 6623 S IH 35 in Waco at 4 p.m. on May 22. A celebration of life will be held at 1:30 p.m. on May 23 at Crestview Church of Christ.
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