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Funeral held for Rowan Co. deputy who died of COVID-19

Master Deputy William Marsh, 40, died of COVID-19 after being hospitalized 10 days. He leaves behind a wife and 2-year-old daughter.

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — A Rowan County deputy who died from COVID-19 will be laid to rest Thursday afternoon. 

Master Deputy William "Billy" Marsh died Oct. 10 after a battle with the virus. His funeral will be held at Catawba College's Omwake-Dearborn Chapel at 2 p.m. 

Marsh's patrol vehicle sat outside the county courthouse, adorned with flowers and notes thanking him for his service. The beloved deputy is survived by his wife and their 2-year-old daughter. 

"He was the most loving daddy and so proud of his family," Janis Smith, a close family friend, said. "So proud of his parents and his sisters." 

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The 40-year-old was hospitalized with COVID-19 on Sept. 30. 

He joined the Rowan County Sheriff's Office in 2012 and also served the Cleveland Police Department before joining Rowan County's force in 2015. Marsh was the fifth law enforcement officer from the Charlotte area to die from COVID-19 in the last month or so. 

COVID-19 was the leading cause of death for police officers in the U.S. for the second year in a row, according to data from the Officer Down Memorial Page and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The ODMP said more than 60% of officers killed this year died from the virus, more than quadruple the number of officers killed by gunfire. 


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