Slain Cobb County deputies remembered as heroes

Funerals for deputies Jonathan Randall Koleski and Marshall Samual Ervin Jr. are this week
September 12, 2022 Atlanta: A memorial of two patrol cars parked with flowers and notes affixed against a backdrop of flags were lowered to half-staff at the Cobb County Sheriff's Office Adult Detention Center on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 located at 1825 County Services Parkway in Marietta served as a reminder of the tragedy last week of two Cobb County deputies killed in the line of duty. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

September 12, 2022 Atlanta: A memorial of two patrol cars parked with flowers and notes affixed against a backdrop of flags were lowered to half-staff at the Cobb County Sheriff's Office Adult Detention Center on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 located at 1825 County Services Parkway in Marietta served as a reminder of the tragedy last week of two Cobb County deputies killed in the line of duty. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Deputy Jonathan Randall Koleski was inspired to join the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Deputy Marshall Samual Ervin Jr. was the doting father of two daughters, having met his future wife when they were high school classmates. Both died heroes when they were killed in the line of duty, colleagues and loved ones say.

“We lost two great deputies,” Cobb Sheriff Craigs Owens said Friday during an emotional press conference. “These were outstanding men. Men of character and integrity, loved by their families and their kids.”

Koleski and Ervin died Sept. 8 after being shot while attempting to serve an arrest warrant at a Cobb County home. A man who lived in the home, Christopher Golden, has been charged with murder. The man the deputies intended to arrest, Christopher Cook, was also taken into custody.

Koleski was 42. Ervin was 38. Both are being remembered for their lives beyond the badges.

Jonathan Randall Koleski

Sept. 11, 2001, prompted Koleski to join the U.S. Army as a 21-year-old. The Florida native would then serve three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to his online obituary. Koleski was part of the 101st Airborne Division from 2004 to 2007. During his tour with the 2nd Battalion 506th Infantry Regiment in Iraq in 2006, he earned the Combat Action Badge, given to soldiers who engage or are engaged by the enemy.

After returning home, he joined the Georgia National Guard. Koleski joined the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office in 2007.

“Jon was a Godly man who loved his family — he was a devoted husband, son, brother, uncle, and a friend to many,” his obituary states. “He loved the outdoors. He was an animal lover and an adventurous foodie as well as an avid runner and was well known for his participation in many 5k runs around metro Atlanta.”

In addition to his wife of four years, Koleski is survived by his mother, four siblings and several other relatives.

The funeral for Koleski will be held at noon Wednesday at NorthStar Church, 3413 Blue Springs Road, Kennesaw. Following the service, he will be laid to rest at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton with military honors.

“It’s just left a deep scar on my family and there’s a void that will never be fulfilled,” his sister told Channel 2 Action News. “He was stolen from us.”

Cobb County deputies Jonathan Koleski, left, and Marshall Ervin Jr. were killed late Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, while serving a warrant. (Courtesy of Cobb County Sheriff's Department)

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

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Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Marshall Samual Ervin Jr.

Ervin met his future wife while attending East Paulding High School, according to his online obituary. The two graduated in 2002.

Ten years later, Ervin began his service with the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office.

“His passions included playing his guitar, fishing and most of all spending time with his daughters who were his everything,” his obituary states. “He was a loving husband and father who will truly be missed.”

A local softball league organized a fundraiser to cover costs for Ervin’s daughters.

“With the Ervin family dealing with the unimaginable right now, let’s take one thing off their plate and support the girl’s softball endeavors for years to come,” the fundraiser stated. More than $3,000 was raised before the fundraiser was ended.

September 12, 2022 Atlanta: A memorial of two patrol cars was parked with flowers and notes served as a reminder of the tragedy last week of two Cobb County deputies killed in the line of duty.  (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

icon to expand image

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Ervin is survived by his wife, Jodi, and daughters Mayleigh and Kourtlee, all of Dallas, along with three siblings and their families. He is also survived by nieces, nephews and extended family members.

The funeral for Ervin is planned for 2 p.m. Thursday at West Ridge Church in Dallas. In lieu of flowers, his family has requested donations be made in his honor to Truth In Nature at truthinnature.org/donate and select the Dallas, Georgia chapter.

The Cobb Sheriff’s Foundation has established a fund to assist the families of the deputies. Donations are being accepted online on the foundation’s website. A GoFundMe page was also created for the Koleski family.

A public memorial for the two deputies is located at the sheriff’s office visitation center located at 1877 County Services Parkway in Marietta. On Monday, flowers and notes were left on the patrol cars.


FUNERALS PLANNED FOR COBB DEPUTIES

Jonathan Randall Koleski: Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at NorthStar Church, 3413 Blue Springs Road in Kennesaw. The service will follow at noon. Burial will follow at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.

Marshall Samual Ervin Jr.: The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at West Ridge Church, 3522 Hiram Acworth Hwy in Dallas.

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