On February 23, 1973, Anthony Lynn “Tony” Grider was born to Orvis and Shirley Grider and older sister Tammy, who claimed he was her first love.
Tony’s passion for public service started in his teens as he volunteered for the local rescue squad. In 1994, he began his lifelong career in fire service as a member of the local fire department. He began to work as an EMT and was recognized as EMT of the Year for the State of Kentucky in 2000. Later, he broadened his expertise to become a paramedic. He served on the Swift Water Rescue Team, Special Operations Team and as a rescue diver. Tony kept advancing his career and served as an instructor in several areas of fire and emergency services.
He also kept active in his community as a licensed cosmetologist, obtained a personal helicopter pilot license, and DJ’d for weddings and parties. He loved to sing, act in plays, and perform in variety shows with the local playhouse. He was elected as a city councilman to further serve his community.
In 2001, he met his future wife, Gena Quiroz, while delivering a patient to the hospital into her care as a nurse. Tony not only fell in love with Gena, but with her three small children, Nick, Alexa, and Courtney. He became their father on September 18, 2004, when he and Gena married, and he never once treated them any different than his own sons, Jacob and Jordan. He easily transitioned from band alumni to band dad and helped all the kids through baseball, basketball, softball, volleyball, and wrestling. He helped teach Jacob and Jordan to swim and called them his little water dogs. When his schedule allowed he attended church with his family and often played the bass guitar or drums and occasionally sang solos.
On August 21, 2014, Tony was assisting the local university with their Ice Bucket Challenge. The fire bucket that Tony was in came into contact with electricity from a nearby power line. On September 20, 2014, after almost a month of struggle, Anthony Lynn Grider succumbed to his injuries and departed this life. He left behind his family and many, many, friends over several states. Tony completed his earthly work that day, but we know he is watching over us from heaven, our own personal angel. Tony will live on through his family and friends. We will keep him alive every day in our hearts, minds, and stories. He now has a thoroughbred horse named after him and a book of personal stories written in his honor.
We love you and miss you every day.