By Geena Martinez
GARDEN CITY - The community of Garden City is remembering their beloved former sheriff. Royce Pruit, better known as "Booger," passed away on Monday.
He was the nation's longest serving sheriff with close to 50 years of service in Glasscock County.
"He was polite to everybody," current Sheriff, Keith Burnett, said. "He never got mad, never raised his voice."
From the halls of the Glasscock County Sheriff's office to the streets of Garden City, the legacy left behind by former Sheriff Royce Pruit is felt throughout the community.
"There's not anyone in this community that's lived here at any time that doesn't have a story about Booger," Burnett said.
Sheriff Booger, as Pruit was better known, passed away on Monday at the age of 75.
"He got that name when he was a kid," Burnett said. "The way I understand, his sister used to call him a little booger and that's where it stuck with him."
Pruit was the longest serving sheriff in the United States with 47 years as the Glasscock County Sheriff.
A hard-working, family man, Pruit was more than just the sheriff.
He was also the tax assessor and an ambulance driver. We're told he gave his all to the people of his hometown.
"He went beyond to make sure they were taken care of," Burnett said. "I don't think there was anybody who didn't like Booger. He was very well-liked throughout the community. His record shows that he was well-liked."
Burnett worked under Pruit as a deputy. He said Pruit remained active at the sheriff's office even after he retired in 2008.
"In his personal vehicle, he still patrolled," Burnett said. "He would call us and let us know if something was out of the ordinary."
Lifelong Garden City resident Carol Batla has childhood memories of Booger.
"I can remember him coming to make sausage at my mom and dad's house and he was always fun and making jokes and fun to be around," Batla said.
She said his outgoing personality and kind heart made him so lovable.
"You knew that he'd be there to help you if he needed to," Batla said. "Even the last time I saw him in the nursing home, he was quite a character. He never lost his spunk, no he didn't."
Now as residents prepare to say goodbye, they're promising his legacy won't soon be forgotten.
"Everybody respected him and loved him," Batla said.
"That's something that I've learned from Booger, to make sure that the locals are first," Burnett said.