Wasp sting kills long-time Mississippi sheriff’s deputy

Published 1:28 pm Monday, August 19, 2019

Adams County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Wayne Rabb, 66, died Sunday evening after being stung by a wasp, Adams County Coroner James Lee said.

“The community and family are in mourning,” Lee said. “Wayne was a great friend and one of the best law enforcement officers in this state. He is one of those you can’t ever replace.”

Lee said he pronounced Rabb dead at 8:36 p.m. Sunday at the emergency room at Merit Health Natchez.

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Lee said the cause of death was anaphylactic shock following the wasp sting.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said he and Rabb both joined the sheriff’s office in 2003.

“For me I lost a chief deputy but more importantly for myself I lost a brother last night,” Patten said. “What people need to know about Wayne Rabb is that he was a straight up guy. You never had to question where he stood on issues, and he was a devout Christian to the core.”

Patten said Rabb was also a good family man.

“When the Lord made Chief Wayne Rabb I feel like he broke the mold,” Patten said. “He just doesn’t make them as good of a guy as he was made and people need to know that. What Wayne would want people to know is if they don’t have their business fixed for them to get it fixed. Wayne lived his life to the fullest while he was here.”

Rabb, Patten said, was working in his yard Sunday evening when a wasp stung him and that Rabb had only learned in recent months that he was allergic to wasp stings.

Patten said Rabb enjoyed taking motorcycle trips across the county and spending time with his wife, Ann, and their adult children Bryan and Rebecca.

“For me personally he has been a friend, a brother and a co-worker ever since my children were born,” Patten said. “Ever since my son, little Travis Jr., has been alive chief Rabb has been a part of our lives. Not once have we had cross words, even though we didn’t agree on everything. He told it to me straight and he was a big conscience in my head that every man needs. He was not a yes man, but he was a good Christian man and people need to understand that we are grieving at the sheriff’s office for the loss, but the community should be grieving as well because that was a heck of a blow for all of us.”

Patten said he believes Rabb would have wanted the sheriff’s office to continue working and to rise to the occasion.

“That is exactly what we are going to do here at the sheriff’s office,” Patten said, “but we are going to honor him, and we are going to send him out the way he deserves to be for the service he has given to not only us here at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office but to the entire community. He will be well missed for sure.”

Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church in Natchez and again from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. Wednesday at the church with funeral at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Green Lawn Cemetery, Patten said.