Commonwealth Journal

Features

October 4, 2012

Gerald Meece: From Colo to Alaska

Somerset —  

How likely was it that Gerald Meece of Colo, Kentucky, and Larry Wholecheese of Galena, Alaska, would one day cross paths? In Alaska. In a life-threatening situation.
Such a scenario would probably never have crossed the mind of Meece during his years of growing up in Pulaski County.
Not while the son of the late Tony and Alice Meece was attending the one-room Jones School, services at Wesley’s Chapel Methodist Church, or Pulaski High.
The journey to Alaska began in 1961, when he joined the Air Force following graduation.
A friendship was formed with a soldier who would start a business in the 50th state and have his Kentucky buddy up for fishing trips from time to time, starting in 1989.
The visits were great stress-relief for the man who began a career in law enforcement with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department in 1974, working under Sheriff John Adams and alongside the legendary Sam Catron.
In 1993, after having served as chief of police in Burnside for 10 years (1978-88) and as an officer and firefighter in Somerset, the mild-mannered lawman decided to move his family to Alaska.
He worked in various departments and locations before retiring as chief of police on Saint Paul Island in October of 2011.
Now 69, and living in East Somerset with his wife, Debbie, Meece is making plans to return to Alaska, perhaps in law enforcement.
If he does, he could find himself working with his son-in-law, Josh Norfleet. He and wife Alisa, 26, and a pharmacy technician at West Somerset Pharmacy, are contemplating a move there with Josh also pursing a job in law enforcement.
The Meeces also have a son, Jeremy, 22, of Somerset, and Gerald has a 46-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.
His confrontation with Wholecheese, an armed man facing numerous charges, (who had a 12-hour standoff with Meece), is but one of dozens of memorable moments.

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