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Cortopassi remembered as ‘a lawman’s lawman’

With a 21-gun salute by his comrades in law enforcement, and a toast from his fellow veterans, friends of Lt. Baron Cortopassi paid tribute to him as they prepared to lay him to rest.

Cortopassi, 61, a resident of Eastpoint who joined the Franklin County Sheriff Office in 2017 after retiring from law enforcement in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, passed away Dec. 24 after a short illness, surrounded by his family at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.

After graduating from Key West High School, he served in the US Army from 1982-92 commanding troops as a sergeant during his combat tour in Desert Storm.

It was that service that was honored by the monthly Reveille veterans group on Friday at 98 Lounge, with a toast to both him and Army veteran Noah Lockley by their fellow vets.

After his discharge from the Army, Cortopassi began a 25-year law enforcement career with the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, a stint that included serving as commander for the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard for nearly 20 years.

Seven members of the honor guard, along with four motorcycle officers, traveled here to accompany the cortege that took Cortopassi’s casket to Living Waters Assembly of God for the Saturday afternoon funeral.

Outside the view of the congregants inside, the honor guard fired a 21-gun salute at the conclusion of the service, and trumpeter Deputy Stephen Jolly played Taps.

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, from left: Major Elliott Day, and deputies David Lampkins, Justin Plaisance, Jeffrey Bessette, Thomas Duhig, Kevin Brooks and Amber Miller, prepare to fire the 21-gun salute. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

A longtime volunteer firefighter in Louisiana, Cortopassi oversaw the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Unit after joining the department six years ago.

“Baron, affectionately known by many as “Cort” or Batman, made lasting impressions and an immeasurable impact on everyone who knew him,” read his obituary. “He dedicated his life to serving others, always doing the right thing, the right way, all the time, being a lawman’s lawman, and could always be counted on for his wicked sense of humor.”

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Christine Cortopassi, daughter Desiree and sons Anthony and Mathew Cortopassi; three granddaughters; brother Travis Cortopassi, sister Ara Tyree, brother and sister-in-law Harvey and Michele Parks, and mother and father-in-law Rick and Joyce Green. 

He was preceded in death by his parents Maurice and Martha Cortopassi.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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