SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – From fellow Savannah Police Department (SPD) officers to friends who have known him his whole life, most people will say Sgt. Kelvin Ansari was loved for two things: his willingness to serve others and his dedication to his family.

One year ago, that family watched as their brother, father, and son become a national symbol of sacrifice. To this day, his mother says she feels pain.

But when that happens, she says she uses a personalized crystal — inscribed with his picture and the words ‘if I should go tomorrow’ — to speak to her son.

“I loved being with my son. I miss my son. He was a great son,” said Ruby Powell, Ansari’s mother.

Powell says she knew her son was destined for greatness long before he traveled the world as a military serviceman and long before he became a sergeant with SPD. She says she knew it when he was a small child.

“The amount of patience he had, the determination…the amount of courage: it really did something to me last year,” said his son, Kelvin Ansari Jr. “It really woke me up in many ways.”

Ansari Jr. says he admires his father most for continuing to serve the community with SPD and continuing his education at Webster University. Ansari earned a Master of Art’s Degree in Management and Leadership, in addition to his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice at Troy University.

“We really looked at him as a pretty much invincible man,” said Ansari who says he constantly thinks about his last phone call with his father.

A middle child, Ansari Sr. grew up with two sisters — Felicia Rivers and Sandra Rutledge — who say they feel the same way about Ansari’s calm, giving demeanor.

Rivers’ home is decorated with pictures of her siblings. She says it reminds her of Ansari’s generosity and determination. He bought her a prom dress and taught her how to play basketball.

“I tried to follow him in everything that he did because he set such a great example,” said Rivers.

Ansari’s mother describes her son as an old soul who loved her and his family. She says he often surprised her with a visit and a crushing bear hug. She says these were her final words before his body was taken away:

“I promise you I will be with you. I don’t know when. But I will because I love you with all my heart. I love you, baby.”

Ruby Powell

“It’s very hard to say anything bad about him. He was really just such a great person to be around,” said Ansari Jr.