JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — In the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) community, no one fights alone.

Early Tuesday morning, retired WCSO Sgt. Ralph Gent, 57, died surrounded by family and friends following a years-long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Gent joined the WCSO in 1995 after serving in the U.S. Army, according to WCSO officials. He served in the detention center, the support division and the patrol division during his 24-year career at the department.

He was also a member of the WCSO Honor Guard team.

Doctors diagnosed Gent with pancreatic cancer in late 2018, which led to back-and-forth travels from his Telford home to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. News Channel 11 previously covered a fundraiser in 2019 aimed to show support for Gent as he underwent a Whipple procedure. More than 300 people showed up to the event.

Gent leaves behind his wife, Kimberly Gent; daughter, Candace Steadman; and son, Hunter Gent, who followed in his father’s footsteps by serving in the U.S. Army. Gent also leaves behind his mother, Helen Gent, and brother, Randal Gent, along with many other family members and friends. Gent experienced the joys of being a papaw to baby Daniel Steadman for nearly four months.

The WCSO honored Gent in a Facebook post and asked that the community keep him and his family in their thoughts and prayers.