Archive for Monday, July 28, 2014

Former Basehor police chief Vincent Weston leaves long legacy with city

July 28, 2014

— Basehor City Hall employees from 1989 to 2004 remember a stern, structured police chief in Vincent Weston, but one who cracked a smile often and always dedicated his life to public service.

Weston, who served as Basehor police chief for those 15 years, is being remembered by his family and the people of Basehor that he touched this week after his death this month at the age of 68. Weston dedicated a combined 60 years of his life to public service as a police officer and member of the Kickapoo Township Fire Department before retiring from both in 2004 and 2006 respectively.

"We're very proud of everything he accomplished in his life," said Weston's son George Weston, 31.

Vincent Weston was the Basehor police chief during both The Cabinet Shop fire at the current Basehor VFW Post location and the Basehor Town Square Fire, both in 2001, and spent the majority of his career as police chief working the day patrol shift. Current court clerk Tracy Dockery was hired in 2000 by Weston, who also hired current Police Chief Lloyd Martley 19 years ago. Dockery said Weston's dedication to Basehor was incredible.

"He cared a great deal about the city," Dockery said. "He worked the street until the day he retired."

Dockery said Weston's structured style was the result of his years serving in the Army. According to Weston's obituary, he joined the United States Army in 1963 and served for 26 years. He served two tours in Vietnam and was the recipient of 2 Bronze Stars, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Legion of Merit before retiring in 1989 as Directorate of Engineering and Housing Sergeant Major.

"He expected and would accept nothing but your best," Martley said. "He enjoyed working for Basehor and always referred to his job as 'another day in paradise.'"

Former Basehor City Council member Bob Verbaecke said recently that Weston's Army training benefited the City of Basehor well. Verbaecke served on the council from 1994 to 2001.

"He put a lot of order to the police department and we kind of needed somebody to put that order in," Verbaecke said. "But he had quite a sense of humor, a very dry sense of humor. He would give a smile and wink to let you know he was kidding around."

Weston grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and attended Westport High School. He married his wife of 38 years, Dawn, in 1976 in Leavenworth where he lived a majority of his life. His two sons, George and Vincent Jr., said their father enjoyed eating out with them and his grandchildren and going to Royals games. He also enjoyed caring for his three dogs and four cats.

After Weston's retirement, his sons said he was able to spend a lot more time with the family, something he wasn't able to do as much as police chief in Basehor and assistant fire chief at the Kickapoo Township Fire Department.

"He made up for a lot of time after he retired," George Weston said.

Weston retired partially due to medical issues stemming from a long battle with diabetes.

Weston's visitation will be held at the Davis Funeral Chapel from 5-8 p.m., Tuesday, July 29. Weston's funeral service will be at the Davis Funeral Chapel at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 30. Burial with military honors will follow in the Leavenworth National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the American Diabetes Association.

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