North county residents still pull over to pay farewell respects


Southbound State Road 85 traffic pulls over this afternoon as Sgt. 1st Class William Lacey's funeral procession winds north to Laurel Hill.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 08:07 PM.

CAMPTON — Bobby and Frances Adams are among motorists who, following tradition, still pull to the side of the road for a funeral procession.

Busy afternoon traffic on north State Road 85 came to a halt Thursday afternoon as a Kentucky Army sergeant with local ties went home to Laurel Hill. And the Adamses, among others, paid their respects with a simple gesture.

"It's sad," Frances Adams, of Campton, said. "We didn't know him but we wanted to show our respect for him."

Army Sgt. 1st Class William "Kelly" Lacey's funeral procession wound north from Crestview to his final resting place at historic Magnolia Cemetery. More than 100 vehicles, led by dozens of motorcycles, many flying American flags, comprised the procession. Lacey's white hearse bore the United States Army's insignia.

The procession stretched more than a mile as it passed through rolling farmland and woods en route to the country cemetery, Okaloosa County Sheriff's Capt. Larry Ward said.

Lacey, 38, was killed Jan. 4 by a rocket propelled grenade in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.

Among other family members, Lacey is survived by his wife Ashley and daughter Lily, 3, of Radcliff, Ky., his father and stepmother, John and Karla Lacey of Laurel Hill, and his mother, Pam Joiner, of Live Oak.|

Email News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.

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