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Longtime sheriff’s department member Kitts dies at 61

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department is mourning, following the sudden death of a member of the department who had served there for more than 30 years.

Carol Kitts, 61, who had retired as a deputy in 2015 and was working as a clerk, was found deceased at her Ironton home on Friday morning.

“We are certainly saddened by the loss,” Sheriff Jeff lawless said. “It’s a shock to us.”

Lawless said Kitts had not reported to work and co-workers became concerned. The department sent someone to check on her, finding her mail still in the box and no answer at door. Upon obtaining entry, Kitts was found deceased, he said.

Lawless said Kitts had worked for the department since about 1985, starting as a dispatcher, then moving to road deputy and road sergeant.

Kitts was a 1973 graduate of Rock Hill High School and studied journalism at Morehead State University in Kentucky. Prior to working at the sheriff’s department, she worked as a photographer at The Ironton Tribune.

Cpl. Julia Jones, of the sheriff’s department, was a neighbor and close friend of Kitts.

“Carol was a devoted deputy,” she said. “She loved her job and loved the department. She will be missed and there will be a void without her.”

Kitts was very active in her community. She played flute in the Ohio University Southern Community Band and was a member of the Rock Hill Alumni Band.

Jones said Kitts was a fan of history, and took part in activities such as Pioneer Days in Wheelersburg and always took part in the church walk, as well as the Lawrence County Historical Society Cemetery Walk at Woodland Cemetery, where she dressed up and portrayed characters.

She said Kitts also loved cats.

“They were her passion,” she said.

She described Kitts as “very patriotic.”

“She loved veterans and her country,” Jones said. “She loved the Memorial Day Parade. I was the grand marshal this year, and she asked me to help get a division named for her father.”

No cause of death has been released. Kitts is survived by a brother, Frank Kitts, of Cincinnati. Phillips Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Details of services are in today’s obituaries.