Widow of fallen officer remembers her 'knight in shining armor'

Published: Sunday, Feb. 2 2014 3:45 p.m. MST

Nanette Wride, wife of fallen Utah County Sgt. Cory Wride, has a laugh about how she and Cory met while sitting with her sons Shea Wride (top left), Tyesun Wride (top center), Nathan Mohler (top right) and Chance Wride (left) at their home on Sunday, February 2, 2014.

Matt Gade, Deseret News

BENJAMIN — Cory and Nanette Wride were married just three months after meeting.

For Nanette, who had been married previously, meeting Cory was something out of a fairy tale.

"You know how all girls want to have that prince that comes and saves them? That knight in shining armor? Well, he was mine, literally," she said.

Cory Wride was Nanette's prince. And Nanette "was his queen and he treated her as such," said Kathy Wride, Cory's mother.

"He had such an eloquent way with words. He would leave me notes. I'd wake up, he'd be gone to work, and there would be a note on his pillow, and of course his side of the bed would be made because he was such a neat freak, but he would leave me notes.

"And they were wonderful, they were beautiful letters. I still have all of them," said Nanette, speaking with the Deseret News and KSL Sunday night, hours before a candlelight vigil was held to remember and celebrate the life of the fallen 44-year-old sheriff's sergeant.

"He would bring me flowers. And it wasn't like one or two, it was dozens every week. I was always on his mind. He would call me seven or eight times a day," recalled Nanette Wride.

Cory Wride was a quiet country boy and a gentleman who lived for his family, for helping others, and who preferred to lead by example rather than words. He was gunned down Thursday in his patrol car after stopping to help a motorist, an altercation that would lead to injuries to a second law enforcement officer and the death of the suspect.

Cory Wride's family gathered Sunday morning and evening to talk about this husband, father and son, a man whose legacy is defined by integrity.

"There were three things that were important to Cory," his father, Blake Wride, said Sunday. "The important things in life for Cory were his family, his faith and serving other people. That was what he was about. He did it well, but he did it quietly. There is no place that he'd rather be than home with his family. He cherished that, just to hang out and be there."

Said his mother: "He was very much a person who lived the kind of a life that any mom would be proud of. He was tender and kind and gentle. The most important thing in his life was his family, his wife and his children," she said.

An 18-year love affair

Cory, who loved the outdoors, lived with his wife in the farming and ranching community of Benjamin. At their house Sunday night, American flags lined the front of their property and little flags lined his walkway. A Utah County sheriff's deputy stood by out front in honor of their fallen brother. A deputy will remain there until his funeral on Wednesday.

Surrounded by family members, Nanette Wride clinched a tissue in one hand and tightly held onto Cory's badge in the other as she spoke. It was the badge he was wearing the day he was killed.

Cory Wride was a romantic, Nanette joyfully recalled. He proposed to her during a horse carriage ride around Temple Square in Salt Lake City and the courting never stopped.

"It was always like that for 18 years of marriage. It was a mad love affair. We were probably grossing people out because we were mushy all the time," she laughed. "You can't be married to better than that. Seriously. The most wonderful man in the world."

As Nanette Wride was picking up items around her house on the day of the shooting, she found a glass of dry Jello mix hidden behind a picture. It was one of Cory's favorite treats, to dip his finger in the Jello powder and suck on it as he was walking through the house. Like his badge, the glass is now a memory that she keeps close by.

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