Ron “Hoss” Seals, the former sheriff of Sevier County, passed away on Thursday following a protracted fight with cancer and other health issues.
Before serving as sheriff for the last 15 years, Seals worked as a dispatcher, patrol officer, and administrator during his 49-year career in law enforcement. Although he spent three years as an officer with the Pigeon Forge Police Department, the most of his career was spent with the sheriff’s office. He disclosed in 2021 that he was fighting liver cancer and had made the decision not to run for reelection.
When he made the announcement, he remarked, “I’m not going to say I’m not going to miss it after spending a half century here.” “I just feel like it’s time,”
He endorsed his chief deputy, Michael Hodges, to take his place and Hodges was unopposed in last year’s election.
Seals started serving as interim sheriff in 2007, after the death of his predecessor, Bruce Montgomery. Voters selected him to complete Montgomery’s term the following year, and he won each election after that.
He was a shift supervisor in 1977, and was among the officers who responded to a robbery call at Citizens National Bank that turned into one the bloodiest crimes in Sevier County history.
Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters issued a proclamation declaring Oct. 27 as a day of mourning for Seals.
“Sheriff Seals was an incredible person that I was blessed to not just call a colleague but a dear friend,” said Waters. “His contributions to the law enforcement community are endless. We lost a great man who served Sevier County tirelessly and loved his community intensely. We will miss ‘Hoss’ and pray for comfort for his family, friends, and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office during this difficult time.”