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Scott Epperson of Benson, N.C., on Friday, July 26, 2013, at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair in Goshen. He passed away Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (Truth Photo By Ryan Dorgan) (AP)

Scott Epperson (center), a Barney Fife impersonator, tries a pork burger Wednesday, July 24, at the Elkhart County Pork Producers building at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair in Goshen. Epperson, who performed at the fair this year, died at age 57 on Saturday, Nov. 23. (AP)
Barney Fife impersonator dies at 57
Posted on Nov. 25, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 26, 2013 at 8:52 a.m.

Scott Epperson, who warmed the hearts of many with his impersonation of Barney Fife at this year’s Elkhart County 4-H Fair, died over the weekend.

Epperson was a retired police detective who lived in Benson, N.C., with his wife of 25 years, Melanie, and their dog, Painter, his obituary states. He started impersonating Barney Fife — a character on the Andy Griffith television show from the 1960s and ’70s — during a theater production when he was a detective and performed 50 to 60 days a year. When he retired three years ago, he was on the road more than 200 days a year.

His travels brought him to the Elkhart County 4-H Fair this summer, where he entertained fairgoers familiar with the sleepy fictional town of Mayberry, N.C., the setting for the show.

“I’m out here spreading joy and happiness — I couldn’t really ask for much else,” he said at the time. “It takes nothing extra to be nice.”

He was 57 years old when he died Saturday, Nov. 23, at Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital in Dunn, N.C.