By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
A former Laurel County jailer, chief administrator of the jail, and deputy sheriff was laid to rest on Tuesday after ongoing health problems.
Jack Sizemore, 76, died Saturday at his home from fronto temporal dementia, which left him unable to communicate with others. Sizemore left a legacy of goodwill for his family, friends and co-workers.
Edd Parsley worked with Sizemore after Parsley was appointed as jailer in 1997. Sizemore stayed on as chief administrator of the Laurel County Detention Center when Parsley was elected to a four-year term as jailer.
“Jack worked for me for six years as chief administrator of the jail and he was one of those people that if you told him to do something, you could very well rest assured that he would carry it out,” Parsley said. “He liked the job he was doing and he took care of the prisoners in a humane way and with the utmost courtesy. You don’t find many men like that.”
Describing Sizemore as “a good man,” Parsley reviewed Sizemore’s background that made him invaluable at the jail.
“He was experienced in law enforcement. He was a deputy under several sheriffs,” Parsley said. “He realized what had to be done and did it. He served this county well as a jailer, chief administrator and deputy.”
Barb Rudder, who has worked in the booking department of the jail for nearly 20 years, said Sizemore was “a good person to work with.”
“He always used to have people laughing and he would tell everyone that I was his babysitter.”
After Sizemore retired, Rudder said she visited him during his illness the past two years.
“It’s a sad loss for the community and for his family,” she said.
That loss is indeed sad for Madgel Miller, who was one of Sizemore’s stepchildren.
“Jack was my stepdad but we didn’t use ‘step’ in our family,” Miller said. “He had seven kids, 20 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, some of whom were step. But step was never considered in the family.”
Sizemore faced several health issues during the latter part of his life, Miller said, including a quadruple bypass in 2008.
“But he came through that very well and since he did, we were expecting him to have a long retirement.”
But other health problems came with the fronto temporal dementia, which affects one’s communication skills.
“It is a rare form of dementia, but he and my mother never had a problem communicating,” she said. “He loved my mother unconditionally and they had their own form of communicating.”
But the past several months had taken its toll on the former jailer and Miller said by Christmas, Sizemore was very ill.
“He had a rapid decline from it (dementia). Last week, he had a real hard time of it, and my mother made a doctor’s appointment for him,” Miller added. “He was in the hospital Wednesday because the doctor said he was weak and dehydrated. But he was able to walk in the hospital. He went home Friday and had a good night with family and some friends came over. He couldn’t communicate with us. He died in his sleep that night with Mom and me beside him.”
Choking back tears, Miller described Sizemore as a man with “a good heart” who was also “very intelligent.”
Miller said many people had come to tell the family how Sizemore had touched their lives.
“It was good to hear people say, Let me tell you what Jack Sizemore did for me,’ and it was stories that he never told. Jack was always telling stories, but these were about what he did for people,” Miller said. “I remember when I was going to college, he would tell me, ‘This is a good place to raise kids. This is a good place to live.’ He loved this town.”
Hearing the impact that her father had had on the people he dealt with during his lifetime, Miller said her opinion of Sizemore’s goodwill towards others was reinforced.
“He was a very private person and didn’t tell people about the dementia,” she said. “He knew how to handle people and how to keep his own life private and personal. We made the arrangements quickly because he would rather be remembered in better times. Knowing Jack Sizemore, he would have had it no other way.”