Wife of fallen officer writes open letter after her husband was fatally shot while on duty

'I am writing this letter because my husband, Jacob Keltner, should be remembered not as another statistic but as a man, a great man, who sacrificed his life to protect others.'


Deputy Jacob Keltner is the McHenry County local hero who lost his life on 7 March 2019 while serving an arrest warrant.

He has been on duty when the fatal wound took this man’s life. He was shot by the suspect while he was trying to escape. Keltner died while doing everything for the well-being and safety of the community.

This man’s accomplishments have not been in any case forgotten by the community. For 12 years Deputy Keltner was securing the people’s safety. His co-workers could not believe this tragic loss.

In Keltner’s honour the Texas Roadhouse showed an emotional  tribute to the Deputy. In addition to that, there was also a ‘Fallen Hero Table’.

Everything that has been used for this ‘Fallen Hero Table’ had a special meaning. For instance, the tears that has been shed for the Deputy were represented by salt shaker.

Symbolism was not the only thing that the restaurant did. They posted a message on their Facebook page saying:

“We send many prayers to his family, friends, and colleagues.”

The restaurant’s staff was not the only that that showed respect to the Deputy. Upon learning that Keltner lost his life, the local car dealer also paid tribute to the late Deputy.

Gary Rosenburg, the owner of Crystal Lake Chrysler Jeep Dodge, was the dealer that did something very touching in Keltner’s honour. When he learnt that the Deputy lived nearby and that he bought a car from Crystal Lake, the owner paid off the rest of Keltner’s loan. What a great move!

Nevertheless, the most touching tribute came, as expected, from his wife. Becki Keltner, just after four days of her husband’s death, wrote a letter regarding the tragic loss of her husband. She wrote:

“I am writing this letter because my husband, Jacob Keltner, should be remembered not as another statistic but as a man, a great man, who sacrificed his life to protect others.”

Becki posted very private things. She informed the nation about how they met, their love and their wonderful family and two children. She adds:

“I was so lucky to have found a love so good and a man worth spending my life with.”

Beckie does not forget her husband’s hobbies and bravery. She especially emphasises Keltner’s love for Chicago Cubs.

She didn’t forget Keltner’s dedication to the community’s safety. She talks about his passion for the public safety and the job he was doing.

“He was a true patriot who wanted to protect the people of this country,” she wrote. “So I knew when he was selected for a position on the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, I couldn’t have stopped him from taking the job if I tried. I knew it was dangerous, but he was smart, strong, and great at what he did. I knew he would protect his fellow officers like he protected our family.”

The devastating phone call she got on March 7 ruined her life.

“Now I find myself a 33 year old widow; mother of two young boys who no longer have their daddy. It feels unreal. I have screamed. I have cried. Nothing can make this better,” she wrote.

What’s even more terrifying is the realization that her sons will never see their dad again.

Becki wrote that she is, and she was, very proud of her husband. No matter the difficulties they had due to his job, she was always besides him.

“There are no words to sum up a man who meant so much to me and to so many others. My only wish is to have a world where we stop hating each other,” she wrote.

She hopes that all people will be like her husband. People should pay attention to the good things in life and try to do everything that is possible to eliminate the bad evil things.

“He saw the worst of the worst every day but still had so much love in his heart,” she ended her letter. “He was true and loyal. We all need to show each other love. Lift each other up. It’s the only way to stop the unconscionable madness.”

Keltner’s funeral was on March 13 2019. The family said the last goodbye to their son, father, husband, cousin….

Our prayers go to the Keltner’s family. May he rest in peace!