Loss for community: CCSO maintenance supervisor remembered fondly

Friday, July 11, 2014
Walt Noftsger

BERRYVILLE -- Walt "Larry" Noftsger of Berryville passed away Friday, July 4 in Springfield, Mo., at the age of 68.

Noftsger worked as maintenance supervisor at the Carroll County Sheriff's Office Detention Center, where he was responsible for the maintenance of the facility and grounds.

He was additionally the supervisor of the five Act 309 inmates at the detention center. Act 309 inmates are state trustees that are given to the CCSO by the Arkansas Department of Correction. Under strict supervision, they perform various duties for both the CCSO and the community at large.

Tiffany Doyle dumps a five-gallon bucket of green beans from the garden at the Carroll County Sheriff's Office Detention Center into a trailer to be delivered to the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank. The inmates who work the garden were supervised by CCSO officer Walt Noftzger, who passed away Friday, July 4, in Springfield, Mo. (David Bell /Carroll County News)

"The 309s thought so highly of Walt," Sheriff Bob Grudek said. "He was such a kind-hearted person."

Walt worked closely with the 309 inmates on a variety of projects, including the jail garden. Grudek started the garden program about five years ago by Grudek as a way to give back to the community. Produce grown in the garden is distributed to a number of food banks in the county.

"They've done a wonderful job, especially for not really being farmers or gardeners," Grudek said. "It's a pretty good crop that we've been able to pass out to the different food banks."

In addition to his work at CCSO, Walt was a member of Freeman Heights Baptist Church. He was also involved in the Elks Lodge and Lions Club.

"He did a lot for the community," said Greg Noftsger, Walt's brother.

Greg Noftsger explained that Walt made a lasting impression on all the 309 inmates that he worked with.

"The sheriff called Walt down one day, and one of the prisoners who he worked with had gotten out of jail and wanted to come up and thank Walt for how he treated him while he was in jail. That had never happened before," Greg Noftsger said.

Those who knew Walt agree that he regarded everyone with respect and kindness, no matter their position or status.

"[The 309s] are prisoners, but he never treated a prisoner like a prisoner. He treated everybody like human beings, with respect," Greg Noftsger said.

Walt was not only kind to humans, but he was caring toward animals as well. Grudek recalled the time when Walt was driving down Highway 62 and spotted a dog on the side of the road that had been hit by a car. Walt stopped, picked up the dog and took him to the vet. Grudek explained that Walt paid about $500 worth of medical bills to prevent the dog from being put to sleep.

"Walt will be sorely missed by everybody here and by all the people in the community," Grudek said. "He was such a fine individual."

A funeral service for Noftsger was held Thursday.

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