Submitted by his daughter
Lt. Leslie W. Gant Jr. was an incredible person‚ not just as a firefighter‚ but as a father‚ husband‚ family member and friend. He put his life on the line everyday to save strangers and never thought twice about it. He began firefighting at just the age of 16 and had been a loyal and dedicated firefighter until the day of his tragic death. He spent the last 10 years of his life with the Sicklerville Fire Company: Station 7 doing what he loved. Prior to joining Station 7‚ Les‚ as he liked to be called‚ was a member of the Runnemede and Magnolia Fire Companies.
Along with answering calls at any given time‚ Les played an active part in activities associated with the fire house. He always made himself available for training sessions‚ meetings‚ or just when something needed to be done. He also had a lighter side. For the past several years he played Santa‚ bringing smiles to the faces of young children. He also took a role in teaching about fire safety in local schools‚ daycares and at yearly fire prevention activities in town.
In 2004‚ just days before his death‚ Les was made Lieutenant in the Winslow Township Fire Department‚ a crowning achievement in his fire service career. A past Chief Engineer‚ he knew he would bring experience and faithful dedication to the position.
The year Les passed away‚ he would have received his 10 year membership with Sicklerville Fire Department‚ instead the plaque was awarded to my mother and I. Along with that award‚ my father has been honored in countless ways throughout the past year‚ including being awarded a Public Safety Purple Heart Award for giving his life in the line of duty.
Prior to his death‚ the Winslow Township Fire Department purchased two new ladder trucks‚ one being housed at Station 7. Les played a vital role in the department getting these trucks‚ so naturally when they arrived he was ecstatic. He would call it ‘his truck’ to many‚ promising to always keep it clean and maintained‚ something he never got the chance to do‚ dying just several days after the truck arrived at the station.
With that said‚ the members of the Department made a resolution that this truck would be dedicated with a plaque in Les’ honor and memory and would forever be ‘his truck’. As Les’ daughter‚ this was one of the proudest moments in my life. Seeing something so special to my father being made to honor his life and legacy was amazing. He would be so proud and thankful.
As well as enjoying every minute of the fire service‚ Les enjoyed boating‚ fishing‚ watching sports on our big screen TV‚ being with family and friends and enjoying good food! He loved to eat! He always had a smile or funny face to make everyone laugh.
Left behind to cherish his memory are his daughter‚ Kelli Lynn‚ and his wife‚ Carol. Also surviving are Les’ many aunts‚ uncles‚ nieces‚ nephews‚ cousins and dear friends.
My father was always a joy to be around. In the 19 years I spent with him he taught me many things and provided me with experiences that are now memories to cherish. He was a special person‚ always there to lend a hand or to provoke a smile. Along with his memory forever embedded in our hearts‚ Les is greatly missed and will never be forgotten.