‘He said I have a passion for helping people:’ Flagler deputy who died of COVID honored at funeral

Deputy Paul Luciano wanted to help people turn their lives around

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office gave a final tribute to one of its deputies. Deputy Paul Luciano, 60, passed away last week after battling COVID-19.

The funeral Friday honored him as a fallen officer.

“He served almost 20 years with Volusia County corrections, retired, and then came to Flagler County Sheriff’s Office in November of 2019,” Sheriff Rick Staly said.

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Staly said Luciano came out of retirement to continue a passion.

“I asked him, ‘Why do you want to come back to work? He said, ‘I have a passion for helping people and wanting to turn their lives around,’” he said.

Staly said unfortunately working in the jail is where he likely contracted COVID-19. He died after a three-and-a-half-week battle in the hospital with the disease. His family told News 6 he wanted to get the vaccine but had not yet.

“This delta variant is just so contagious that even though we mandated masks in the jail for our inmates and employees, that we had an outbreak in the jail and the timing coincides with when he got sick,” Staly said.

On Friday at the funeral, though, the loss was outweighed by the stories about his commitment to helping others and the love for his family.

“Not only do I miss my father and I could talk to anyone about him all day, but there are complete strangers that can do the same,” Luciano’s son said during the service.

About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.