HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Colleagues of a long-time Horry County sheriff’s deputy who died Monday morning say they’ll remember his smile and positive attitude.

Kent Gause, 59, worked as a transport deputy and had more than 35 years of law-enforcement experience, including more than 22 years as a deputy in Horry County, according to the sheriff’s office.

“Oh man, he loved what he did,” Capt. Kwame M. Livingston said of his friend and co-worker. “He loved the blue. Law enforcement was his life.”

Gause and Livingston worked together at the J. Reuben Long Detention center for more than two decades, often talking about professional football. He said he was shocked when got a call Monday morning about Gause’s death.

Kent was a very special person, a dear friend to me,” Livingston said. “He was my work family, and my regular family.”

Outside the detention on Tuesday, a transport van, much like the ones Gause drove on the job, was decorated with a single black ribbon on the hood.  

“I wish I could bring in every person here on our staff because every person here would have something positive, a way that he impacted their life,” Livingston said.

Outside the sheriff’s office, Gause was also an ordained minister at the Cedar Branch Baptist Church in Loris.

“Everywhere he went, he didn’t meet a stranger,” Livingston said. “You got to know him and you remember that smile forever.”

The Ocean View Funeral Home and Beach Crematory, Myrtle Beach chapel, is handling arrangements, which were incomplete as of Tuesday night.