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Gov. Nixon orders flags to be flown at half-staff for Tom Clements as family and friends remember slain prisons official

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is ordering flags to be flown at half-staff at state buildings in Boone County and at corrections facilities across the state in honor of the slain Colorado prison director.

Tom Clements, 58, was a Missouri corrections official for over three decades before taking the top prisons job in Colorado. He was shot and killed at his Colorado home March 19.

He oversaw Missouri’s 21 adult correctional facilities before he left to take the top Colorado job in 2011.

While working for the Missouri prison system, Clements lived in Columbia. State of Missouri and U.S. flags will fly at half-staff on Friday until sunset. A 4 p.m. memorial service is scheduled for Friday at Woodcrest Chapel in Columbia.

Nixon’s office tells ABC 17 News that the governor will be present at the memorial service, along with Clements’ family. There will be additional security at the event as a precaution for the family.

Organizers are anticipating a large crowd at the memorial. Students at Mill Creek Elementary, located across the street from Woodcrest Chapel, will be release 40 minutes early at 3 p.m. due to the service.

ABC 17 News spoke with Clement’s friends who hope to get closure and bring the memory of Clements back home.

Friends of Clements said his home will always be in Mid-Missouri. His wife said in an interview that anger will never bring back her husband, and now large crowds are expected to help her and the family through this period of mourning.

“Tom was a very big gentle giant kind of guy,” said Chuck Headley, who used to live across the street from Clements.

“He was very warm, very friendly,” said Deanna Fancher, who is also a former neighbor of Clements.

For old friends, it’s difficult to speak about Clements’ death. However, they love to tell the story of the life of the man who seemed to love everyone.

“Kind of a good person that you would like to have around,” said Headley.

These are the memories friends keep with them weeks after tragedy struck. At this point, honoring Clements’ life in Mid-Missouri is especially important for those he left behind.

“It’s important because I think fellows such as Tom provide a great service for our society. We need folks such as Tom,” said Headley.

“Just pay their respect, if nothing have a moment of silence just in remembrance of him and for his family,” said Fancher.

NOTE: The memorial service will be streamed live on starting Friday at 4 p.m.

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