Posted at: 07/21/2014 6:04 PM
Updated at: 07/21/2014 6:25 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4
A New Mexico community is mourning the loss of one of its leaders.
Memorial services were held Monday for De Baca County Sheriff's Deputy Mylessa Denny who died last week after collapsing next to her patrol car.
In June, Denny had won the Democratic nomination for the De Baca County Sheriff’s race.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 learned from her longtime partner that Denny died of a blood clot in her lung and heart.
She’ll be buried in her Arkansas hometown. But Monday was a chance for her community to pay last respects.
“She always had a smile for everybody," said Erin Truelsen.
Denny was just 39-years-old.
“Very pleasant to be around fun loving, good gal, good soldier," said Ellen Boile.
Sitting in the bleachers, Boile was just trying to make sense of it all.
“I’m still numb,” said Boile.
Boile served with Denny in the army and they roomed together in Korea.
“We were a team, we were a family," said Boile.
The death of this rising leader shook the town of Fort Sumner.
“This has been a shock, sudden and it's just sad," said Sarah Bullock.
Denny was on the ballot for sheriff in November.
If she won, she would have been the first female sheriff in New Mexico since the 1960’s.
Her family says she was about more than just helping others.
“She just loved life and loved the people that were around her."
On the day of her death, she spoke to the love of her life, Christi Scovel, several times on the phone. In her last call to Christi she read her a poem, which was also read on Monday.
“I want no world for beautiful you are my world."
Denny leaves behind two children, who are still in high school.
And it was at that school’s football stadium where Monday an entire town came together trying to grasp the tragedy of a life taken too soon.
“I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart."