HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Former Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning was laid to rest Saturday, but not before his loved ones and community members gathered to remember the legacy he left behind.

Dorning was honored and remembered Saturday by the community he most diligently served.

“Everything that happened that was good for the community and everything else that happened during his tenure as sheriff, that’s going to be remembered as his legacy.” Donny Shaw, who retired from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, said.

That lasting legacy brought several people to the First United Methodist Church to say “Thank you”.

News 19 did not go inside the sanctuary, but we managed to speak with friends and former coworkers about their memories with the sheriff.

Shaw worked with Sheriff Dorning for 29 years and says he always made sure the department put the community first.

“Those that work with him and his friends and those that the things that he did that touched and affected people,” he said, “they’re going to remember him for things like he would make sure that every resident of a nursing home in Madison County had a Christmas care package.”

Dorning’s service to the community went beyond the badge. A coach to some, a mentor to many, and a friend to others.

Retired Madison County Circuit Judge Billy Bell was sworn in alongside Dorning in 2003.
Their relationship grew after a walk to a mass in 2006.

“He was my brother in Christ,” Bell said. “He’s someone you can confide you can trust him, you can believe him because you knew what was in his heart and that was love and respect.”

Dorning was a sheriff for 16 years. He passed away after battling cancer.

Former and current members of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office shared words at his funeral before being laid to rest at Hastings Cemetery in Ardmore.

If you would like to donate to the Russell Hill Cancer Foundation to honor Dorning, you can visit their website here.