Services planned Friday for Itasca County deputy who died

Services are planned Friday for an Itasca County Sheriff’s deputy who died following a battle with COVID-19.

Hubbard Broadcasting sister station WDIO-TV reports the death of 41-year-old Jayme Williams, of Deer River, was unexpected. WDIO-TV reports Williams first fell ill on Dec. 11 and died during surgery on Monday.

"Deputy Williams was a devoted husband and father, a dedicated public servant and an active community member," the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. "Deputy Williams will always be remembered for his kind and fair approach to the community he served as a law enforcement officer. We mourn his passing and send our deepest condolences to his family and partners in law enforcement during this difficult time."

As of early Friday, more than $18,000 had been donated via a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs, bills, and other family needs.

Services are scheduled for Friday at the Marcell Community Center. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. with a service at 11 a.m., according to WDIO-TV.

Meanwhile, Gov. Tim Walz has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at all state buildings from sunrise until sunset on Friday in remembrance of Williams, who had been a deputy for 13 years with the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office.

"With its deepest gratitude, the State of Minnesota recognizes Deputy Sheriff Williams for his dedicated service to, and sacrifice for, his fellow Minnesotans, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and entire community," Walz said in a statement.