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MassCops Angel
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By Jennifer Rios
San Angelo Standard-Times

SAN ANGELO, Texas - Even though he didn't finish his full police training, Paul Book is saving lives.
Book, an apprentice police officer who died Sunday in a three-vehicle crash, was an organ donor.
"Even in death, he was able to continue to help and give others life," said his wife, Chandice Book. "I'm sure he's happy knowing he was able to help that many people."
Book said she has been told that 15 lives would be saved because the family had waited for the organs to return to stability and be in the best possible condition to transfer to another person - such as a heart that beats at a normal rate - before he was taken off life support.
Besides police work, Book said, her husband loved farming and cooking - although he talked about the latter more than doing it. His wife said his "specialty" was ramen noodles, but he used an expensive German knife set. He always said if he wasn't a cop, he would be a chef.
"We would watch Food Network together all the time," Chandice Book said. "I miss little things like that."
Paul Book grew up a third-generation farmer and worked cotton and wheat fields, starting when he was 10.
Wheat harvest was his favorite time of year, Chandice Book said, because of the beauty of sunsets over the stalks.
Since Paul died, Chandice has stayed with her parents, but on two occasions, she visited the home she shared with her husband. She sat on their bed, on the floor of his closet and in her chair in the den. Scents such as the leather scent of his closet and the Burberry cologne he used on special occasions continue to make her feel close to him.
"The whole house, it's kind of like he's still there," she said Monday. "His shoes are still lying where he left them."
Friends have told Book she should write down stories about her husband for Parker, who was born Sept. 30.
She said she's seriously considering the idea. Even though she has memories fresh in her mind, she doesn't want either of them to forget Paul.
"When he's 8, am I going to remember every little thing that I wanted to pass on to him?" she said.
Chandice Book said she was "completely impressed" by all the support and compassion the San Angelo Police Department has shown, including listening when she needed comforting.
Paul Book, who graduated from the police academy only a month before he died at age 21, was driving his pickup truck about 6 p.m. Saturday on Farm Road 2105 when he was struck by a vehicle that ran a stop sign at state Highway 208 South, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety report. The crash is still under investigation.
After the crash, the department stationed two members of the honor guard outside Paul's hospital room. Now, one stands guard at Johnson's Funeral Home.
At Wednesday's service, Police Chief Tim Vasquez said, several of Paul's police academy classmates will be pallbearers, and the department will escort the funeral procession.
A 21-gun salute will be fired, followed by a flag folding.
A horn will play "Taps," and "Amazing Grace" will be played by a piper.
"I just know Paul's loving this right now," Chandice Book said.
"He's getting the biggest kick out of all the pomp and circumstance."

If you wish to become an organ donor, contact:
Texas Organ Sharing Alliance Call: (512) 459-4848 or visit: According to the organization's Web site, more than 98,000 people are waiting for organs in the U.S., and more than 28,000 organ transplants are performed each year.

Wire Service
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