Death can seem hardest when it comes suddenly. When it comes for one beloved by the community, it is even more so.
That was certainly the case in the untimely passing of Ashland Police officer Malcus Williams. A 21-year-veteran of the department, Williams was answering a domestic disturbance call Friday night when he collapsed. He was rushed to Providence Medford Medical Center, where he died less than two hours later.
Ashland residents who were awake about midnight Friday night witnessed a procession of police and emergency vehicles, lights flashing, slowly making its way through town en route to Litwiller-Simonsen Funeral Home. Police tradition calls for an officer who dies in the line of duty to be guarded at every moment thereafter.
That is especially fitting in Williams' case, because he guarded his community with a special warmth and dedication. Facebook comments uniformly bestowed the highest praise: "... the best police officer this town has ever seen." "The ultimate kind, caring, professional, and generally awesome law enforcement officer." "A good guy, a good father, a good husband and an honest cop." "He was an amazing man and father."
Williams' devotion to his family obviously extended to all of Ashland's young people. As one put it, "He was so kind to my dumb ass at Ashland High."
Appropriately, the memorial service for Malcus Williams will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 17 in the Ashland High School gymnasium. A live stream will be provided in the school theater for overflow attendees.