Jim St Pierre former Pasco deputy dies working in Afghanistan
My Fox Tampa Bay March 26, 2012
As you can imagine, she was concerned.
“I was just worried to death that he would be in harms way,” Kleinfelder said of where St. Pierre would be spending a majority of his time.
But she also understood.
St. Pierre, a retired Pasco County sheriff’s deputy and father of three, had dedicated his life to service and training K-9s.
In Afghanistan he would be doing both.
“He wanted to help people and those were the best times,” said Kleinfelder.
Friday Kleinfelder’s fears were confirmed, St. Pierre died in Afghanistan of a heart attack at the age of 51.
“I’ll miss him,” she said. “His family will miss him terribly.”
St. Pierre worked as a contractor in Afghanistan for American K-9 Detection Services as a narcotics detection dog handler.
The company says he and his partner Jowi had found drugs on numerous occasions during their two years in the country.
St. Pierre also worked with K-9’s with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, but his love for dogs started long before his work as an officer.
“When we were children, going to Sunshine Elementary School he had a shepherd here,” said David McConnell.
McConnell had known St. Pierre since childhood. They grew up together.
“He was more like a brother to me, basically all my life,” McConnell said Sunday.
He adds that St. Pierre’s parents are distraught over their son’s death.
Friend and family say he’ll be sorely missed.
“A terrific guy, great sense of humor but also a great sense of duty and honor,” said McConnell. “He was serious about his work but he didn’t take himself too seriously so that made him fun to be around.”
They also hope his death reminds folks of the many contractors who have died in the war-torn country.
“I just don’t want people to forget that there are thousands of men and women just like him who are serving and we need to remember them and honor them as well,” said Kleinfelder
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