Cohnway knew at a very early age that he wanted to be a firefighter‚ which was evident by his drawings of fire engines. His great uncle‚ a chief in the Austin Fire Department had inspired him.
He was born October 04‚ 1982 in Austin‚ Texas‚ educated in Pflugerville schools‚ graduating from Pflugerville High School in 2001. He went to Steven F. Austin State University for one year‚ studying Forestry and Kinesiology. His heart wasn’t there so he came home and enrolled in the Taylor Fire Academy and Austin Community College from 08/03-05/04 making the President’s Honor Roll and a 4.0 GPA.
His career began with the Yoakum Fire/EMS Department from 11/04-05/06. Austin called him back to the Oak Hill Fire Department in Travis County from 05/06 until 05/09. He also worked part time for the Westlake Fire Department and the Manor Fire Department. Cohnway took every opportunity to grow professionally obtaining numerous certifications. He later became a part-time instructor with the Oak Hill Fire Academy. In April‚ 2009‚ he began his training with the Houston Fire Department.
Cohnway was the athletic one‚ always working out‚ lifting weights and running. He began early playing PEE-WEE baseball and football. However‚ when he first tried out for PEE-WEE football‚ he was told he was too overweight. Determined to play‚ he gave up snacks and he and his Dad started running the high school bleachers. He lost the necessary weight to play PEE-WEE football that year! He played football every year through high school.
Always a kid at heart‚ he loved being with his family‚ together enjoying year around camping. Cohnway loved any body of water; his favorite was in New Braunfels tubing down the Guadalupe River. In 1995 his Dad built a big bar-be-cue pit and started cooking competitively at area cook-offs. Thus began his love for cooking meats‚ always trying out new meat rubs‚ seasonings and marinades. He looked forward to his turn cooking for his brothers at the fire stations.
Anyone who knew him learned quickly that firefighting was his life. His brothers were the most important and influential in his life. He cherished every moment he shared with them‚ be it happy or sad. On his days off he was always talking about being at the station. He always said he was just as happy at the station as anywhere else he could be.
‘Sweetie‚’ you will forever be with us all‚ whose lives you touched. We are comforted knowing you are now with your heavenly brothers putting out heavenly fires and sharing heavenly stories. Our Son and Brother‚ we love you and miss you deeply. One day we will all be together again‚ until then Peace Out.