Your purchase supports our mission to honor America’s fallen fire heroes; support their families, colleagues, and organizations; and work to reduce preventable firefighter death and injury.
Search
Close this search box.
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Smokechaser/Crewman
Age: 22
Year of Death: 1989

Larry J. Kye

Larry Joel Kye was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, on December 25, 1966. He is the son of Robert Lafayette and Marion Annette Caton Kye. He is survived by his sister, Shelley Delane Kye; his paternal grandmother, Ruth Kye; and his maternal grandparents, Jack and Elouise Caton.

He was employed by the North Carolina Forestry Service and was a dedicated member of the Winnabow Volunteer Fire Department. Larry was also the District IV representative of the Brunswick County Fire and Rescue Association.

While traveling back from the NCFS DIstrict 8 Headquarters in Whiteville, North Carolina, he and his coworker were involved in a head-on collision. He died instantly, and his coworker suffered critical injuries.

In 1982, Larry became a junior firefighter with the department. He was hired by NC Forestry in 1985 and was in his fourth year as a crewman at the time of his death. His ultimate dream was to be a paid firefighter for the city of Wilmington and be a crewman on a western forest fire detail.

Larry grew up in the fire service, due to both parents’ commitment to the Winnabow Volunteer Fire Department. Before he was able to drive, he would ride his bicycle to the station practically every day just to listen to the radio—doing odds and ends, waiting for a call to come in. His favorite duty was sweeping out the bays. He often left home in the morning, riding his bike the 2.5 miles and not returning until almost dark.

His passion was the fire service and serving his community. He often participated in the NC Fourth of July Firemen’s Competition, sometimes driving a truck in the parade. He volunteered to help in any way with community events such as Christmas in Winnabow, cleaning up after major storms, and barbecue fundraisers.

Even though he was only 22 years old when he died, he was highly respected by his peers throughout the fire service. He had dreams and visions for the future of the fire service in Brunswick County and Winnabow Fire. Anyone who would listen would hear him talk passionately about the need for a centralized dispatch center (911) and a countywide fire fee, which later became realities. One of his goals for the fire department was for them to purchase a new fire truck, and the department had taken possession of a new truck just days before his death. Larry departed this earth doing what he loved, serving his community.

Memorial Posts

Previous
Next
Previous
Next
Previous
Next
Previous
Next

Memorial Wall

  • (will not be published)

Memorial Wall

  1. There are no memorial wall messages for this firefighter.