A Texas game warden has died of COVID-19.

Game Warden Sgt. Christopher Ray Wilson died Thursday, the agency announced in a Facebook post. He was the father of four children.

Wilson “left this earth on the afternoon of August 26 after valiantly battling a series of COVID-related health complications,” the announcement reads.

“Chris was a great man with a big heart, who left a positive impression and impact on all who had the chance to work and spend time with him during his 16 years of exemplary service to the Department of Parks and of Texas Wildlife (TPWD) and our grateful state,” TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith said in the tribute.

Wilson began his TPWD career in 2004 with the 50th Game Warden Cadet class in Austin, Texas. After graduating in 2004, Chris’ first posting was in San Saba County. In 2012, he was transferred to Bell County. And in 2016, after 12 years in the field, Wilson was promoted to Sgt. special investigator.

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“Chris proudly served our Home Ground as State Game Warden with great determination, pride and dedication. With a big smile, big presence, big heart and big impact, he enhanced our department and our work His end of custody leaves a hole in the hearts of many colleagues and many Texans, who all mourn the loss of his presence, but are grateful beyond words, for the dignity, strength and sacrifice of his service. May he rest in peace.”

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