Remembering Sheriff Lee Dan Vance, Jr.

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Sherriff Lee Vance (June 8, 1958-August 3, 2021)

Lee Dan Vance, Jr., was born June 8, 1958. He was the second child of four children born to Lee Dan Vance, Sr. and Josephine Hayden Vance in Jackson, Mississippi. He was preceded in death by his father, Lee Vance, Sr.; his mother, Josephine Vance Boyd; his half-sister, Dorothy Marie Vance; and his stepfather, Willie D. Boyd.

Growing up, Lee was a caregiver to his late grandfather, the Rev. J. D. Hayden. He would spend nights with him and was his personal driver, making sure all of his needs were met. This was the beginning of his service to others.

A great man of faith and integrity, Lee accepted Christ at an early age and attended True Vine Baptist Church. He later moved his membership to Anderson United Methodist Church, where he also served as an usher.

The City of Jackson collectively grieves the loss of Hinds County Sheriff Lee Vance and sends its prayers to his family. Sheriff Vance was a bright light in the City of Jackson, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to its residents through his lifetime of work ensuring public safety. Sheriff Vance loved serving people, a love that was often shown through the warmth of his infectious smile. His lifetime of service spanned from serving as a JPD officer to later rising up the ranks to become JPD chief of police and finally serving as our beloved sheriff. Sheriff  Vance was not only a friend to our city, but I considered him a personal friend of mine. He supported efforts toward the growth and development of Jackson and was a personal support to both me and my father. Our prayers are with his family and all of those who were touched by his life.

 – Chokwe Antar Lumumba

City of Jackson Mayor

Lee attended Mary C. Jones and Galloway Elementary, Bailey and Rowan Jr. High; and was a 1976 graduate of Lanier High School. During his time at Lanier, Lee was a member of the football team, Class President, and Most Handsome. He would go on to matriculate at THEE Jackson State University, where he would graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications. Lee was honored by Lanier as the Alumnus of the Year 1995-1996. He was proudly “833 for Life.”

Lee met the love of his life, Tonia Hulitt, while they were both students at Jackson State University. They joined in holy matrimony on June 27, 1981. They are the proud parents to five children: Delorise, LaToya, Bertrina, Jamila, and Lee III.

Sheriff Vance was truly a servant leader. He led by example. May God’s blessings and the peace of Jesus Christ give comfort to his family and our community in his passing. In the words of Mr. Charles Tisdale, Lee was “a man among men.”

– Kenneth I. Stokes

City of Jackson Ward 3 Councilman

Lee began work at United Parcel Service (UPS) in 1978 loading parcel on the dock. He would enter the management program as a supervisor in the early 80s at the suggestion and encouragement of his then boss, David Abney. Lee left UPS in 1986 and had a brief career in car sales. At the suggestion of a friend, he applied to enter the police academy. In 1987, he graduated from the Jackson Police Department training academy, which he said was the “toughest training” he had ever been through. Lee started his 30-year career in law enforcement as a patrol officer. Throughout the years, he worked in Planning and Research, served as the Public Information Officer, and was promoted to Sergeant, Lieutenant, Commander, Acting Deputy Chief and Assistant Chief.

“Greater is he that is in me; than he that is in the world.” –1 John 4:4. This biblical writing signals for me the standard that has elevated Sheriff Lee Vance to prominence in law enforcement.  All that matters in the long run are the tracks that one lays as they travel during an unpredictable time of our lives. Sheriff Vance’s faith in GOD and his desire to ascend to unimaginable heights shall register forever in our hearts. May the Lord of Host receive the soul of our dear brother of whom has performed exceptionally. Our prayers and heartfelt sympathy are with the family during his transition. For I say unequivocally, let the work of our sheriff, Lee Vance, speak for him. 

– LeRoy Walker

In July of 2014, then Mayor Tony Yarber named him acting Police Chief. Later that year in October, Mayor Yarber named him Chief of the Jackson Police Department. Chief Vance served in this position until his retirement in December of 2017.

During his tenure, Chief Vance received numerous awards and recognitions. In each year of his tenure, the city saw significant crime reductions. For the first time in history, the Jackson Police Department received law enforcement accreditation under his leadership. During his time at the JPD, Lee also worked part-time at Dillard’s Department Store and through his company Vance Enterprises, he worked as an expert witness.

Being a faithful servant of the community, Lee decided in 2019 to run for the position of Hinds County Sheriff. He was elected November 2019 and begin serving until his death on August 3, 2021.

Lee leaves to cherish his memory, the love of his life, Tonia Vance of Jackson, MS; four daughters, Delorise Love (Rodney) of Jackson, MS, LaToya Hulitt of Denver, CO, Bertrina Henry of Jackson, MS, and Jamila Green (Alliott) of Kenner, LA; one son, Lee Vance III of Jackson, MS; seven grandkids, Alicia Love, Erica Henry, Joshua Love, Makayla Henry, Tristan Vance, Ariel Vance, and Jayde Green; two sisters, Jo Ann Vance and Lisa Jean Vance of Jackson, MS; one brother, Bennie Ray Vance of Lambert, MS; three nieces, Chauniqua Moore (Terun) of Jackson, MS, Stacey Vance of Jackson, MS, and Shirley Vance of Jackson, MS; two nephews, Marvin Vance (Renee) of Jackson, MS and Bennie Griffin of Lambert, MS; as well as a host of cousins, family, and friends.

Funeral Arrangements:

Public Funeral Service

Saturday, August 14

Visitation – 10:00 AM

Service – 11:00 AM

Mississippi Coliseum

1207 Mississippi St. Jackson, MS


Private Family Burial

Johnson Cemetery

Jackson, MS

(Masks are mandatory.)

Cemetery Rituals and Last Call will be performed by honor guard and other designees immediately following the funeral services on the grounds of the Mississippi Coliseum.


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Remembering Sheriff Lee Dan Vance, Jr.

By Jackson Advocate News Service
August 14, 2021