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Family remembers auxiliary JSO sergeant who died from COVID-19

A funeral was held for 71-year-old Sgt. Louis Livatino, as his family mourns his loss and asks others to take the pandemic seriously.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office sergeant who died from COVID-19 was given an honorable send-off on Friday morning.

The funeral for auxiliary Sgt. Louis Livatino, a 71-year-old New York native, Navy veteran and father, was held at North Jacksonville Baptist Church.

Dozens of officers from across the First Coast joined in the funeral service.

A public viewing was held at 10 a.m., followed by a funeral service with family and friends.

Ahead of the service, Sheryl Livatino walked out of the church with her arm linked with her cousin. She wrote down a few words to honor her late husband.

“My husband Lou Livatino was passionate about JSO, the reserves and the community. He loved it so much, he lived and breathed it. But most of all he loved all the people, he always put others first and he volunteered whenever he could for the community,” she said.

Livatino’s family appeared emotional but stayed strong as TAPS was played, followed by a 21-gun salute and final radio call.

Livatino’s wife says they knew each other for more than 30 years, and were married for 10 years. Livatino joined the reservists after retiring from the Navy and Baptist Medical Center where he worked as an electrician.

Livatino was part of JSO’s Honor Guard and was named officer of the year in 2017.

“Lou would be touched by the outpouring of love and support, by the community and the force, as am I. He was a wonderful husband and was many things to many people,” Livatino’s wife said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says Livatino’s death was in the line of duty. Sheryl Livatino also asked for people to take COVID-19 seriously.

Lou said he took all the necessary COVID precautions so if it could happen to Lou, it could happen to anybody. Please, I’m urging the community to take COVID seriously and take all the precautions. Regrettably we lost a wonderful man because of COVID and he can never be replaced,” she said.

When his death was reported, several people wrote tributes on social media about Livatino, including former JSO spokesperson Melissa Bujeda.

"If you knew Lou, you loved Lou. I will miss his kind soul and never ending smile so much. RIP Lou, we love you and thank you for all that you did for us," Bujeda tweeted.

Livatino’s wife leaned into her faith when she spoke to First Coast News.

“I found comfort in knowing Lou accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior and he is spending eternity with Jesus. We’ll all see him again,” Livatino said.

She thanked the community for their love and support since Livatino’s death.

Following the funeral, he was escorted to Arlington Park Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, son, brothers, a granddaughter along with nieces and nephews.

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