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."
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.
Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte.
SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts
All of WCNC Charlotte's podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere.