ROGERSVILLE — Retired Hawkins Co. Emergency Management Agency Director Gary Murrell was honored at Monday evening’s meeting of the Hawkins Co. Commission.

Commissioner John Metz read aloud at the Nov. 25, 2019 meeting from a framed commendation prepared on behalf of County Mayor Jim Lee, the Commission, and other elected and appointed officials, to recognize Murrell for his more than 40 years of public service to the county in numerous roles in several agencies.

Murrell started out in 1977 with the Hawkins Co. Rescue Squad, and later became a volunteer firefighter with the Rogersville and Striggersville departments.

He also served as an EMT with Hawkins Co. EMS, a member of the Haz-Mat team, as well as a patrol officer and narcotics detective with the Hawkins Co. Sheriff’s Office.

Murrell was named EMA Director in 2007 and retired from that position earlier this year.

“In John 15:13, Jesus stated, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,’” Metz said. “It is with great honor that we pay tribute to the selfless dedication of a true public servant, Mr. Gary Murrell.”

In addition to the framed resolution, a “token of the county’s appreciation” was presented to Murrell ... a hand-made, one-of-a-kind stained glass window “that is as unique as your service”, Metz said as the window was unveiled.

The work was created by local artisan Bobby Merrithew.

Metz said the design of the window is meant to encompass all phases of Murrell’s career.

“The center of this stained-glass window signifies the continued fruitfulness of your service and its impact in nurturing future generations in leading by a public servant example,” Metz explained. “Surrounding the center image are the symbolic thin lines with corresponding colors for each department in which you have served. The imagery represents the willingness of brave men and women who protect and serve our country and communities by standing between chaos and order, peril and safety. It unites as a common thread the brotherhood of all those willing to serve their fellow man.”

No county funds were used to purchase the gift, Metz said.