GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Georgetown Police officer and Air Force veteran Michelle Gattey was laid to rest Saturday after she lost her life due to COVID-19 last week.
The police department announced her death Thursday, Sept. 16. Gattey was 44-years-old and had served more than two decades in the U.S. Air Force before becoming a police officer with Georgetown PD.
She began serving as an officer in Georgetown in January.
Her memorial was held Saturday at First Baptist Church, located at 1333 West University Ave. in Georgetown. The public and all first responders were invited to attend.
“Even though she gave an entire career to the military and could have done anything she wanted, she chose to serve again,” said a Georgetown Police Officer at Gattey’s Funeral. “She showed us everything we were looking for and I’m upset that we won’t get to see her serve in that role.”
Gattey joined the force as a victim services officer, a position that takes a lot of compassion, and her fellow officers said she did it with a contagious smile.
Before the service, Gattey was transported from Ramsey Funeral Home located at 5600 Williams Drive to the church with a procession. The route stretched along Williams Drive to DB Wood Road to West University Avenue.
After the service, Gattey was given full police honors outside First Baptist Church.
A friend of Gattey confirmed her two dogs died in the Saturday night fire at Ponderosa Pet Resort. The fire claimed the lives of at least 75 pets boarded there when it happened.
A life lost due to COVID-19 is considered a line of duty death, according to the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas. The organization pushed legislators to make that the standard through Senate Bill 22.
A 2021 mid-year report by the National Law Enforcement Memorial shows that the leading cause of law enforcement deaths so far this year is COVID-19. As of June 2021, 71 officers have died because of the virus.