SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The sound of bells rang out from the Sevier County courthouse on Friday morning as officials and community members gathered to honor the life of former Sevier County Sheriff Ronald “Hoss” Seals.

“It’s the beginning of a week I would say of honoring Sheriff Seals’ memory, honoring his service to this county and its citizens,” Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said.

Sevier County Sheriff Ron Seals. (FILE Photo)

Waters proclaimed Friday a “day of mourning” in honor of Seals, whom he met in high school before Seals’ 49-year law enforcement career.

“We first met in 1966,” Waters said. “We started high school together and graduated in ’70. I’ve known him ever since ’66 and he’s been a friend.”

Hoss served as sheriff for 15 years before retiring in 2022. It was his dedication to service that Waters remembers most fondly.

“Sad that he only had about 13 months of retirement to enjoy his self,” Waters said. “But then when I reflect on how much he loved being sheriff, I know he enjoyed every minute of that.”

Waters said that Seals’ legacy will be one that will be remembered for decades to come.

“That was his main goal is to serve the people in the county and to make this a better place for them to live and he did that,” Waters said.

The Sevier County flag will fly at half staff until Hoss’ interment.