For 24 years, former Long County Sheriff Cecil Nobles helped organize and coordinate the Law Enforcement Appreciation Cookout held annually in Tattnall County.
Earlier this year, Nobles passed away after a long battle with cancer. At Thursday’s cookout, Nobles was honored when his wife, Peggy, accepted a portrait of the late sheriff and a plaque recognizing his service.
Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens presented the items to Peggy Nobles and also retired her husband’s badge.
All of the leaders at the cookout thanked Nobles’ wife and family for the former sheriff’s service to the state and his community.
“Cecil started this cookout, and just looking at how many are here today is a testament to what this cookout has become. He did a great job for Long County and loved the people. He will continue to be missed,” Long County Commissioner Cliff Deloach said.
Liberty County Commissioner Connie Thrift said, “Sheriff Nobles was not only an asset to Long County, but he also was an asset to this entire area and the whole state. His longevity in office shows how the people of his county felt about him, and he will surely be missed.”
Long County Clerk of Court Frank Middleton, who knew Nobles as both a friend and as a former deputy, also praised the legendary lawman.
“I knew Cecil as a good friend, having known him for many years, and also as a deputy, having worked for him. I had a great relationship with him from both of these vantage points. He was a good man, and I continue to miss him,” Middleton said.
Gov. Nathan Deal expressed his gratitude for Nobles’ role in the creation of the annual cookout.
“I’m thankful to both Wayne (Dasher) and Sheriff Nobles for having the foresight for this event. I’m also thankful to the Nobles family for their continuing support of it,” Deal said.
Nobles was elected sheriff of Long County in 1968 and served in that capacity for 43 years. When he died earlier this year, he was the longest-serving sheriff in Georgia and the second-longest-serving in the nation. He was 76 at the time of his death.