MARION, Kan. (KSNW) — Marion County Sheriff Robert Craft, 64, passed away Wednesday evening after battling COVID-19 for approximately nine days. The sheriff had been in a Newton hospital and then transferred to Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka.
Law enforcement officers from several agencies escorted Craft’s body back to Marion late Wednesday night. Marion County Emergency Communications posted a message to its Facebook page, saying:
“KHP and MNCO SO will be escorting the late retired KHP and current Marion County Sheriff Rob Craft back to Marion tonight at approximately 2330hrs. Please show respect for Rob and support to Jan and Shaun along with the rest of his family. We will gather on east main tonight to bring sheriff Craft home Thank you all.”
After that, Marion County Emergency Communications posted two videos of the escort. During the second video, posted around midnight, you can hear that they were driving through sleet.
In announcing Craft’s death, Marion County said, “His family and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office greatly appreciate all the prayers and positive thoughts.”
Craft served in the Marine Corps. He joined the Kansas Highway Patrol in 1981. In 2008, he retired from the KHP and was elected as Marion County sheriff.
Marion County Undersheriff Larry Starkey will lead the sheriff’s office until the governor appoints someone.
According to Craft’s obituary, his family will “gather with friends on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. at the Marion Sports and Aquatic Center for his memorial service led by Pastor Carl Helm of the First Christian Church. Yazel Megli Funeral Home is serving the family.”