FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — As the Florence County Sheriff’s office mourns the loss of retired Capt. Wayne Howard, community members are reflecting on the work he did with Camp Pee Dee Pride.

Camp Pee Dee Pride, a free summer camp for kids, is held on Francis Marion University’s campus.

Over the span of 20 years the university president, Fred Carter, got to know him well.

Carter described Howard as a fine law enforcement officer, whose biggest passion was helping kids.

Carter believes planning and organizing Camp Pee Dee Pride was something Howard looked forward to doing every year.

Carter said Howard firmly believed that getting kids into the camp at an early age was the right way to keep them out of trouble, and keep them focused on doing productive things in their lives.

“I’ve never heard anything said the least bit derogatory about Wayne, that’s his legacy,” Carter said. “That and the fact that over 7,000 students, had a wonderful opportunity to experience a summer camp and do things that they would likely never ever have the opportunity to do otherwise if it was not for this wonderful man.”

Former News13 reporter Cecil Chandler was friends with Howard for about 50 years.

Howard worked with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office for more than four decades.

The Florence County Sheriff TJ Joye said Howard will be missed, but his legacy of service to the community will not be forgotten.

Chandler worked with Howard to execute drug busts.

He said Howard was a funny guy, and they always had a good time together.

“He was just one of those guys if you ever met him, you’re always going to remember him, and I loved to be around him,” Chandler said. “We took trips together, we did some fishing trips, we did all kinds of fun things.”

Chandler said Howard will be remembered most of all for the children he helped through Camp Pee Dee Pride.