A wife's message: Widow of fallen McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy writes emotional letter remembering his life

By  | 

ROCKFORD, Ill. (KWQC) - "A cop's cop."

"A great man."

The widow of fallen McHenry County, Ill. Sheriff's Deputy, Jacob Keltner, is remembering her husband in an emotional letter shared on Facebook.

"I am writing this letter because my husband, Jacob Keltner, should not be remembered as another statistic but as a man, a great man, who sacrificed his life to protect others," the letter reads.

Keltner was shot at a Rockford hotel Thursday as he was trying to arrest a fugitive as part of a U.S. marshals task force.

"My husband was a “cop’s cop.” He loved everything about his job and looked forward to going to work every day. He was a true patriot who wanted to protect the people of this country so I knew when he was selected for a position on the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, I couldn’t have stopped him from taking the job if I tried," Becki continues."

Becki and Jacob met at Western Illinois University in 2004, according to the letter. The love they had for each other who instant.

"We loved each other fiercely. He was a tough guy but a secret sweetheart. He surprised me with the best gifts, nights out, and heartfelt notes. He would do things he hated with me (like seeing a ballet) because he know how much I loved it," Becki writes as her letter continues. "He supported every endeavor I ever took on and was there for me every second when my mom recently passed away. I was so lucky to have found a love so good and a man worth spending my life with."

Keltner was a five-year member of the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, and a nearly 13-year veteran of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators have said the alleged gunman, Floyd Brown, shot through a hotel door, jumped out of the third-story window, and encountered Keltner in the parking lot.

Kelter, 35, was the father of two young boys, who is wife says was the his life.

"He was an amazing Dad. He always found ways to have fun with the boys. The night before he died he was teaching them how to catch and throw to get ready for little league. He built forts and set up family movie nights and “boy’s nights” with the kids. We spent our summers relaxing and swimming in the pool," the letter continues. "Telling my children he was taken from us was the worst moment of my life. They are innocent and pure and certainly do not deserve this. They will never know their daddy like they deserve. They won’t know him as a jokester. They won’t know his contagious smile and infectious laugh. He was taken from them far too soon."

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered Monday that U.S. and state flags be lowered to half-staff through sunset Wednesday to honor Keltner.

A visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at DeFiore Funeral Home, 10763 Dundee Road, Huntley. The funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at Woodstock North High School, 3000 Raffel Road.

"I need him and I don’t know how to keep going without him. I would give anything for one more hug, one more ‘I love you’, or one more joke from the man I love so much," Becki writes.