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Major Cribbs laid to rest
Police officers stand at attention at the funeral Friday for Hinesville Police Department Maj. Thomas Cribbs. - photo by Patty Leon

A man of few words but deep connections to the community was laid to rest Friday.

Former Hinesville Police Department Lead Detective Maj. Thomas Cribbs was remembered by his personal and law enforcement family Friday during his funeral service at Hinesville Baptist Church.

Cribbs died Monday.

Mike Buckley, pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Hinesville said Cribbs was well-respected for his work in law enforcement and for the many things he did on behalf of Westside Baptist Church and local charities.

Cribbs retired from his job last year amid health issues after serving at HPD for 41 years. He was known as an innovator in investigation and forensic techniques.

Cribbs was soft-spoken yet his words carried weight among his peers. He was also known for a sense of humor.

Cribbs devoted his time away from work to family, especially his childhood sweetheart and wife Mary Dowd Cribbs, their daughter Tina Cribbs Chavis and granddaughter Laura Chavis.

Mary Dowd Cribbs wept and leaned on family for support throughout the service. His granddaughter spoke eloquently.

"I am Thomas Cribbs’ favorite and only grandchild," Laura Chavis said. "We could get into some trouble with him and I could tell you plenty of stories of some of the things we’ve done…But we are in a church, so I can’t. (Cribbs) was stubborn, hard-headed, and a smart aleck who loved Christmas, Jack Daniels, old western movies and his family. His family included his blood family, his law enforcement family, his church family and his friends who were practically family. He taught me many things… How to hunt doves with my uncle Billy, my first cuss words, how to really annoy my dad, my Constitutional rights and many more things that a 14-year-old probably shouldn’t know. But most importantly he showed me through his actions and through his words that he was one of the kindest and hardest working people ever."

Longtime friend and fellow officer Dickey Welch Cribbs carried the love and faith of God in his heart every day and encouraged everyone to do the same.

Sobs turned to smiles at the end of the service. As Cribbs’ casket was moved out of the church, music suddenly filled the room. It was the theme song from "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly."

Some said that was Cribbs, delivering his final punchline.

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