Tarrant County sheriff’s deputy who died of COVID remembered for smile, sense of humor

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Tarrant County Sheriff’s Deputy William “Howard” Gudgell was always smiling and had a great sense of humor, according to the sheriff’s office. He worked in law enforcement for more than 40 years, but on Friday the sheriff’s office announced his “end of watch.”

Gudgell was one of two Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office employees who died in the past week from COVID-19, according to sheriff’s office Facebook posts. The deputy joined the office in 2005, after working as a fire marshal in South Texas. He retired from the sheriff’s office in 2015 but returned in 2018.

During his time with the sheriff’s office, Gudgell worked in the judicial division and the warrants division.

Matthew Pagan, a booking tech for the sheriff’s office, died Sunday.

“Matthew was one of the first faces we saw when coming in the back door,” a Facebook post in his honor reads. “He selflessly showed up and worked hard for Tarrant County. He served well and is greatly missed already. His wife, three children and a host of family, friends and co-workers are mourning his loss today. Please keep them in thoughts and prayers.”

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