Updated July 22: The Hall County Sheriff’s Office has set up a memorial fund to help Lt. Brian McNair’s family.
The fund is at Peach State Bank & Trust in Gainesville, and contributors can make donations in person at the 325 Washington St. bank, at the drive-through teller line, by mail or in the deposit box.
Checks should be made payable to “In Memory of Lt. Brian Keith McNair.”
“The men and women of the Sheriff’s Office sincerely thank the community for its offers of support during this difficult time. For those with a desire to help, the fund is a safe and secure way to assist Lt. McNair’s family. All donations to the account will go directly to the family,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Original story: A Hall County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant with 20 years of service died Monday, July 20, after a serious illness.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth said Lt. Brian McNair, 53, had been transported Sunday, July 19, from his Habersham County home to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.
The Sheriff’s Office did not have information on McNair’s cause of death but said he had tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
McNair had not been at work since July 9. He served in the jail division.
“Our hearts are broken, that’s for sure. He’s going to be missed. He’s just one of those guys that whenever you saw coming, you smiled,” retired Capt. Brad Rounds said. “He always had you laughing about something. That’s just the way he was. If you were in a bad mood and you spent 10 minutes around him, he’d have you laughing about something.”
McNair started with the Sheriff’s Office in January 2000, previously working for the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office.
“The news of Lt. McNair’s passing came as a great shock to his family and his law enforcement family this morning,” Sheriff Gerald Couch said in a statement. “He will forever be remembered for his dedicated service to our country and the counties he served in Georgia. Words cannot express my desire for this community to pray for Lt. McNair’s family.”
Retired Capt. Brad Rounds said McNair worked several years for him, once as a corporal while Rounds was a patrol lieutenant and as a sergeant when Rounds was north precinct commander.
“He was just a great guy. This whole thing has just really set us all back. It was just so unexpected,” Rounds said.
As a corporal, McNair was training new officers. Later on, he would continue taking people under his wing and teaching new sergeants how to be an effective supervisor.
“He was always there for his officers when they needed him. You never had to try and look for him. You always heard him on the radio because he was a hard worker,” Rounds said.
According to an obituary with McGahee-Griffin and Stewart funeral home, a memorial service will be held at a later time. McNair is survived by his wife and their nine children “ranging from toddler to college-aged,” Booth said.
The Sheriff’s Office was helping to create a fund at Peach State Bank & Trust in Gainesville to benefit McNair’s family.
Regarding any isolation, quarantining and testing concerning COVID-19, Booth said it would “involve some inmates and some staff.”
“Hall County Jail staff members continue to follow (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines for COVID-19 mitigation and prevention as well as best practices as outlined by Hall County government.to protect inmates and employees to the best of their ability,” Booth wrote in an email.