Submitted by his mother
Cordell W. ‘Cory’ French‚ 44‚ volunteer firefighter and paramedic‚ Towanda Volunteer Fire Department and Butler County EMS‚ Towanda‚ died August 28‚ 2004‚ of a cardiac arrest following training exercises. He joined the Towanda Volunteer Fire and EMS on November 28‚ 1995 and served as EMS captain. He was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 2001‚ and Medical Responder of the Year for Towanda Volunteer Fire Rescue in 1999‚ 2000‚ and 2001‚ and answered more than 480 calls as a volunteer.
Towanda’s Fire Chief T. C. Pyle said of Cory‚ ‘He was always a hard worker. He was dedicated to the EMS side of the fire service. He was always ready to go. He was always smiling and he had a great sense of humor. When situations got tense he would be the first to crack a joke to ease the moment.’ Prior to moving to Towanda‚ Cory served several years as a volunteer firefighter and EMT in Dodge City‚ KS.
‘Cory’ was owner and operator of Augusta Aviation Maintenance in Augusta. In announcing his death‚ the headline in the Wichita Eagle newspaper read ‘Towanda man excelled as an aircraft mechanic‚ volunteer and friend.’ Nancy Moody‚ airport manager at Augusta said‚ ‘He always had a smile. He was a blast to work around. He was a great storyteller and he had some story to share on any topic. He was laid back‚ but never lax. People had real faith in him and his skill.’
‘Cory’ was survived by his wife‚ Kelly; his children‚ Tara and Kyle; brothers‚ Cameron and Mitchell; and parents‚ Don and Jeanene French.