Former Police Chief Otto Smith Overton, age 82, died Tuesday, April 17, 2012 with his family beside him.
When appointed Chief of Police of the Farmville Police Department on September 1, 1954, he was the youngest Police Chief in Virginia. He served 42 years before retiring in 1996. Law enforcement was his life. “Chief”, as he was known by all, loved his “men” (police officers). He was the quiet peacemaker who stood tall and was a friend to everyone.
After his retirement, he was elected to serve as councilman for the Farmville Town Council. He continued to serve in this capacity until his recent illness and death. While on council, he served as Vice Mayor for a term.
In July of 2007 the Farmville Town Council named the Farmville Police Department, located in the new municipal building on Main Street, in his honor. He was humbled by this declaration of appreciation and felt so proud to be a small part of the heritage of the Farmville Police Department that he helped build.
He was born June 17, 1929 in Rice, Prince Edward County, VA, the son of the late James Watson Overton, Sr. and Mary Grace Thompson Overton. He was predeceased by three brothers, Floyd M. Myers, James Watson Overton, Jr., and Eugene Edward Overton, Sr., and two sisters, Breetie Overton Jenkins and Grace Overton Tuttle.
He is survived by his wife and love of his life of 62 years, Mary Frances Overton, his daughter, Sallie Overton Amos and her husband, Richard E. Amos, Jr., and a granddaughter, Mary Grace Amos, who was the pride and joy of his life; three brothers and their wives, Campbell L. Overton and Shirley Overton of Farmville, W. Quinton Overton, Sr. and Ann Overton of Rocky Mount, VA, and Wyatt Lee Overton, Sr. and Linda Overton of Farmville; a sister in law, Carolyn Hudgins Overton of Farmville. He leaves behind 5 nieces, Sherry Sheffield, Grace Helms, Rhonda Fox, Cindy Atkins and Margaret “Cissy” Coleman; and 8 nephews, Wayne Myers, Frank L. Overton, Henry Webb, Wyatt L. Overton, Jr., W. Quinton Overton, Jr., Eugene Edward Overton, Jr., David Wayne Overton, and James A. Overton-all who he loved like his own.
Family visitation will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2012 from 6-9 PM at the Farmville Church of Christ, of which he is a charter member. A funeral service will be held at the Church on Friday, April 20, 2012 at 11 AM. Graveside services will follow at Westview Cemetery, Farmville, VA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Fuqua School for the Otto S. Overton Financial Assistance Fund for students interested in a career in criminal justice or The Prince Edward County Rescue Squad.
“The world is a darker place this morning. A gentle light has gone out. But it will brighten soon with the memories he left us.” By Gilbert Wood, Jr., Chief Dispatcher of the Farmville Police Department and dear family friend.
“The Good Lord must have needed a good officer or someone who knew how to quietly and effectively get things done.” By Donald C. Blessing, Town Attorney and dear family friend.
Shorter Funeral Home of Farmville is serving the family.