Hundreds gather to remember Putnam County corrections deputy Capt. Mark Elam

Putnam, FL. — A gun salute marked the end of watch for Capt. Mark Elam Monday afternoon who received a sendoff worthy of a man who lived his life in service to others.

“He was taken from us way too soon, but we can gain comfort in knowing that he made the most of the life that he was given,” Pastor Larry Harris.

Hundreds of friends, family members, and deputies from at least three counties were there to say their final goodbyes including longtime friend and Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach.

“Mark was the type of person that was really larger than life while he seemed tough on the outside that was merely a thin skin that veiled who he really was,” said Sheriff DeLoach.

Described as stern but fair, Elam built a reputation as the go-to man when it came to citing statues and policies, but he did it with a sense of humor.

“Just beneath the surface of the skin was this huge loving teddy bear of a man whose heart was actually bigger than his body,” said DeLoach.

Capt. Elam not only left a mark with his colleagues, family, and friends but also with the inmates he guarded. So much so that one inmate wrote to Sheriff DeLoach after the passing of Capt. Elam.

“‘I’ve had many encounters with Lieutenant Elam, and he was always good to me and offered understanding and kindness to me’ the inmate wrote. These comments are a testimonial to Mark’s demeanor and moral character,” said DeLoach.

Sheriff DeLoach posthumously promoted Elam to the rank of captain, a promotion that was set to happen in May.

Elam’s wife and their kids will now carry on his legacy, but they won’t be alone.

“His wife Lachrisha and their children are just as much a part of our family as they are their own biological family, we’ll continue to wrap our arms around them,” he said.

Charges are still pending against the driver who hit Capt. Elam while on his motorcycle.