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UPDATED: Fallen SCV hero remembered

Deputy died Friday after a four-year struggle

Posted: October 30, 2008 8:57 p.m.
Updated: January 1, 2009 5:00 a.m.

Family members of the late Deputy Randy Hamson, including his brother Tim, Randy's wife Cindy and her two young sons, Nicholas and Joshua, watch his casket as it is placed inside the hearse after the funeral service at Grace Baptist Church in Saugus Thursday morning. Hamson was laid to rest at Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Mortuary in Newhall.

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Family, friends, and more than 100 uniformed deputies gathered Friday to mourn the death and celebrate the life of Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Deputy Randy Hamson.

“He had a servant’s heart,” said Tim Hamson, Randy’s brother and a Los Angeles city firefighter. “I admire my brother. Randy Hamson is my best friend.”

Hamson died after a four-year struggle to recover from injuries suffered during a 2004 traffic stop. He graduated from the sheriff’s academy five years prior to his accident.

The tone of the service was often upbeat as Pastor Francis Chan, sheriff’s officials, deputies, Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar, Hamson’s brother and friends shared fond and humorous memories of Hamson.

“We can understand Randy believed God loved him. The day when Randy was baptized that’s what he was saying,” said Chan, who baptized Hamson two years before the accident. “Randy is in a very, very safe place. God says I will create a safe place for you. Randy changed his address; he did not change his life.”

Those who spoke of Hamson attested to the inspiring dedication he carried to his faith, family and duties.

“Santa Clarita has lost a great friend and we are mourning his loss,” Kellar said. “Hamson stood out amongst us because he made it his life to give us the American dream.”

The news of Hamson’s death Friday hit Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputies hard, a sheriff’s official said.

“I was on duty that night (of the accident),” said Sheriff’s Station secretary Millena Hicks, who attended the ceremony.

“I took his (crash) report just before receiving the call. I was devastated. He was my friend.”

Hamson was investigating a traffic collision along a poorly lighted stretch of Sierra Highway Aug. 16, 2004.

Hamson used his flashlight to get the attention of a motorist not using headlights, Cambra said. As Hamson waved his flashlight at the car, another vehicle struck him, she said.

“Hamson sustained major head injuries and battled for his life every day from the time he was hospitalized until his death,” Cambra said.

“(Hamson) had the biggest smile in the world,” Detective Hans Schneider said. Hamson and Schneider met in 2002 at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “He just brightened your day,” Schneider said.

Schneider felt mixed emotions when he learned of Hamson’s death.

“It’s been a tough four years for everyone,” he said. But he chooses to remember all that was good about Hamson.

“He was truly enjoyable to work with and he loved working for the people of Santa Clarita,” Schneider said.

After the ceremony, a motorcade escorted the hearse carrying Hamson's body to Eternal Valley Memorial Park on Sierra Highway in Newhall, where he was buried.

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