Hero Down: Mecklenburg County Deputy Sylvia Deese Dies Suddenly

The Mecklenburg County sheriff's deputy died on Sunday.

Mecklenburg County, NC – Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Deputy Sylvia Deese died suddenly on Sunday, after she experienced a “medical event” while working an off-duty assignment for the department on Friday, the Carolina Brotherhood said.

Deputy Deese – who was affectionately known as “Mama Deese” by her department, community, and the Carolina Panthers, worked for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) for 27 years prior to her retirement two years ago, Spectrum News reported.

“If someone’s having a problem with someone, when she would walk up, she was able to diffuse the situation, cause she’s Mama Deese,” Mecklenburg County Sheriff Irwin Carmichael said with a smile.

Deputy Deese, 68, started off working in the MCSO gun permits office, and later became a sworn deputy.

Even after her retirement, she continued serving the community as a MCSO reserve officer, the Carolina Brotherhood said in a tweet.

“In essence she was very good people and loved by many (and ‘many’ is NO exaggeration),” the Carolina Brotherhood added.

“She had the most incredible work ethic, and...compassion for everyone that she met,” Sheriff Carmichael said. “She would always take care of everyone.”

Deputy Deese also provided security at Carolina Panthers games for many years, and was well-known among the players and their families.

“We have lost a truly incredible woman,” Courtney Rivera, the daughter of Panthers coach Ron Rivera, said in a tweet. “Mama Deese was one of the most caring and THE kindest person you would ever meet. Game days just won’t be the same without my pre/post game hugs, the kind words and big smile, no matter the day.”

“Mrs. Sylvia was by far one of nicest ladies you could ever meet,” Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis tweeted, according to Spectrum News. “Every home game she was always there to greet all of us with a smile and a hug.”

“Regardless the outcome of the game, she always offered words of encouragement,” Davis continued. “It’s going to be extremely tough pulling up to that stadium and not seeing her beautiful smile. My thoughts and prayers go out to her loved ones. Rest in heaven Mrs. Sylvia!”

“Such a sweet woman!” New York Giants running back Jonathan Stewart tweeted. “She always put a smile on my face when ever I saw her!”

“Words can’t express the hurt & heartbreak my family and I are experiencing over the loss of Officer Sylvia Deese,” former Panther Colin Cole tweeted. “She was loved by everyone in our Charlotte community and @Panthers family. She will be greatly missed.”

Deputy Deese is survived by her husband, two sons, and a daughter, her family told Blue Lives Matter.

One of her sons also works as a dispatcher for the MCSO.

She will be laid to rest on Saturday, according to Dignity Memorial.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mecklenburg County Deputy Sylvia Deese, both blood and blue. Godspeed, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We'll hold the line from here.

Comments (4)
No. 1-4
Daniel Quigley
Daniel Quigley

I moved from NJ where I was working at Giants Stadium to come South and work for the Carolina Panthers in September of 1999. My very 1st game working for the team as a member of their Security Team I met Deputy Sylvia who asked me about myself. Such a kind and friendly soul and one of the brightest smiles I have ever seen. I was kinda out of place as I really didn't know anyone but the players and the other team employees at this point as it was only my 3rd day on my new job. She put me at ease and made sure all the other Deputy's knew me as well as the State Police Officers and anyone else she knew. She made Sundays fun and enjoyable. My heart aches knowing she will no longer be there to greet and smile toward everyone who entered the building on Game day. She was truly a 1 in a million type and will be greatly missed.


Our prayers are with Deputy Deese's family & friends, blood & blue, on the loss of a lady who seems to have been everyone's friend. Such great people are rare these days & we need all of them that we can get! RIP, sweet lady!


RIP Officer - Sheralee from New Zealand


Be at peace, Deputy Deese. Thank You for your years of good service. Condolences to your family & loved ones.