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William Franklin "Frank" DeButy

August 4, 1953 ~ June 2, 2018 (age 64)

Retired Police Lt. William Franklin DeButy, 64, of Decatur, passed away June 2, 2018, at Huntsville Hospital. A visitation will be held at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, June 10, 2018, with a memorial service following at 3:00 p.m. at Shelton Funeral Home in Decatur.

Frank was born August 4, 1953, to Charles Franklin DeButy and Jean Raulston DeButy. He studied engineering at the University of Tennessee and later earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Athens State University.

Frank enjoyed a long and storied career with the Decatur Police Department. He joined the department’s patrol division in 1977 and held multiple roles until his retirement in 2008. He was named the Decatur Police Department’s Police Officer of the Year twice before receiving the 1993 Alabama Police Officer of the Year award from the Alabama Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He was most recently a supervisor for Allied Universal Security at Nucor and operated ATOPTO, a firearms training company. A gifted artist, Frank also designed commemorative rings for law enforcement professionals. His happy place was his garage, where he often worked on his vintage yellow Chevy Nova and welded unique steel artwork for family and friends.

Frank, who was a local torchbearer during the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay, cared deeply about his brothers in blue. In 2017, he created gravesite memorials for fallen Decatur police officers and was part of a ceremony honoring the nine Morgan County officers who have died in the line of duty since 1905.

Known as much for his sense of humor and compassion as he was his dedication to law enforcement, Frank impacted the lives of those around him for the better. He was a friend, teacher, protector, and ally to all.

He is survived by his wife, Helen; son, Charlie and his wife, Lucy; stepson, Keith Cochran and his wife, Allison; stepson, Dylan Cochran; sister, Darlene Raim, and her husband, Mike; two grandchildren, Gracie and William; several nieces and nephews; and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and many loved ones he lost along the way.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to Decatur Animal Services, 300-A Beltline Road, Decatur, AL 35603, or Hospice of the Valley, P.O. Box 2745, Decatur, AL 35602.


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