NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – — The latest example of support for fallen Hendersonville police officer Spencer Bristol comes in the form of a college scholarship for his young daughter.
Three-year-old Eloise broke hearts at her father’s memorial service on Tuesday when she leaned over to kiss his casket.
It was a scene that brought back emotional memories for Nashville attorney Barry Gammons.
“This was the first funeral of a deceased officer that I have been to since my Dad passed away,” recalled Gammons. “It hit so close to where I was 45 years ago.”
Gammons’ father was Hendersonville police officer James Gammons. He was the first officer in the department to die in the line of duty. In 1974, he was on patrol when he was trying to chase down a robbery suspect. When his partner told him to turn off the patrol car’s siren and call for back up, he didn’t respond. He had a heart attack and died at the scene.
Barry Gammons was just 7 years old when his dad died, and his mom was 33 years old. He said the situation surrounding Officer Bristol’s death was very similar to his father’s. He felt compelled to help Eloise.
“I just kind of feel uniquely qualified to be able to hopefully help this family,” said Gammons.
He decided to start a college scholarship fund for Eloise, and name it after his dad. He made the first donation to the account for $10,000.
Donations to the Ivory James Gammons Memorial Scholarship Fund can be made at any Pinnacle Bank location. All of the donations will go directly to Eloise’s future education.
Gammons hopes it will remind Eloise her dad was a hero, and the community will continue to support her.
“If you feel as if there has been someone in your life who has made a difference for you, it’s time for you to make a difference for someone else,” said Gammons.