ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A funeral service was held for Benton County Sheriff’s Office detective Paul Newell on Wednesday.
The service lasted over an hour and a half with multiple friends, family members and co-workers sharing their fondest memories of Newell. On the whole, the people who spoke said Newell loved his family, friends, community and motorcycles.
“He was a Harley riding, two-stepping, cowboy boot-wearing, DJ karaoke king who loved his family,” said pastor Russell Hamby.
Detective Newell was helping transport materials for Wreaths Across America on Dec. 17 when he died in a motorcycle crash.
The outpour of support and action from local bikers following Newell’s deaths was large. A group gathered early Wednesday morning before the funeral for a memorial ride to the location. After the funeral, they rode in a procession to the cemetery.
John Sears was a host of the event. He said Newell was an avid motorcycle rider, and he even used his passion to help serve the community.
In the eulogy recited at his funeral, pastor Hamby said Detective Newell taught deputies within the motor division of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. He also taught motorcycle maintenance.
Sears met Newell at a Bikes, Blues & BBQ event. Newell later helped him organize a memorial ride for a fallen officer out of Oklahoma.
“He paid his respects to the community, to his country. He was a fallen officer. So, this is our way to pay him back,” said Sears.
John Black was a part of the memorial ride. Despite high winds, he rode 55 miles to attend the event, celebrating and honoring Newell. Black didn’t even know Newell, but he said that didn’t matter.
“This man lost his life, providing escort service for bikers in a wreath laying, and this is the absolute least thing we can do to honor him,” said Black.
Those that did know him, remembered someone who was always giving back. Darren Pendergraft worked with Newell for 10 years at the Gravette Fire Department. He said they went to fires, hosted haunted houses and, overall, had a lot of fun together over the years.
He said just like law enforcement comes out to support each other, so does the biking community.
“It’s a brotherhood, and it goes a long way. We’re thinking about him, and we all love him,” said Pendergraft.