NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – While there were definitely moments of sadness during the Meagher family’s talk, most of the time was spent smiling and laughing, something Greg or Big Red as he was often called did all the time.
“He always looked out for everybody else before he looked out for himself,” said Lindsey Meagher during reflections about her father.
It’s a creed that ultimately claimed his life. But Sgt. Greg Meagher’s family, his brother Patrick in particular, remembers a man who as a child wanted to serve and protect.
“After my dad attended the FBI academy he used to get wanted posters and my brother would get wanted posters from everywhere and he would keep those things for years,” said Patrick Meagher, after sharing his brother always wanted to go in law enforcement.
Meagher died in the line of duty Sunday at Xytex Corp. in an attempt to save someone else. Now, his family wants to reflect on the good times, family gatherings that always included his not so funny jokes.
“He enjoyed his family the most. He enjoyed people. He enjoyed what he did and making an impact in the community,” he said.
The North Carolina native moved to the Augusta area as a child. He played football, ran track and swam at West Side High School where he graduated in 1978. While he loved his more that three decades with the sheriff’s office, he loved his four daughters (one of which died last March) and granddaughter most.
“His favorite thing to do would be go get a couple of beers and get on the river and go fishing. That was his solitude time. He really enjoyed that. He liked golf. He wasn’t very good,” she said.
While not the best golf player, he worked the Masters Tournament for 33 years. Sgt. Meagher even received a hat from Arnold Palmer once as a thank you for always being a kind face when he arrived in the Garden City.
Although he worked narcotics, he went the extra mile to make sure the people and the streets remained clean.
His brother Daniel shared this reflection from one of the clients his brother helped.
“I never thought I would make it until I overheard your brother tell my mother that I was going to be fine. When I heard him tell my mother that, I said hey, I am going to be fine. Greg believes in me and I think I can do this. She says it’s been 13 years since she’s had a drink,” he said.
Though sad, it’s the laughter that will keep the Meagher family strong.
You could hear the laughter most when Patrick reminded Lindsey of a funny childhood story.
“When you were little, you were in daycare and they asked what does your daddy do for a living. He buys drugs,” said Patrick.
That last story was how Sgt. Meagher ‘s daughter Lindsey first remembers her dad working undercover for the Sheriff’s Office. From listening to the family talk you can tell they are a tight-knit family who will surely miss Greg.