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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 66
Year of Death: 2020

Michael D. Canada

Mike Canada was born to be of service to others. His happiest moments in life were when he was helping others in his community and spending time with family and friends.

Mike’s career was with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 38 years. He was in wildlife refuge management and later in the law enforcement division as a federal wildlife zone officer. He also served during national disasters, such as providing security for the firefighters at numerous wildfires in California. He served during the Gulf Oil Spill and provided relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, along with several other hurricane relief efforts here on the East Coast.

During Mike’s early career with the fish hatchery back in the late 1970s, he began volunteering for the local volunteer fire department at Providence Forge, Virginia. He genuinely enjoyed the comradery and brotherhood he shared with other members of a dedicated department. During this time, he and his wife, Donna, a nurse, received their initial EMT training together.

The last fire department that Mike served with, for 25 years, was Bear Grass Fire and Rescue in Bear Grass, North Carolina. It was here that he and his family put down roots in a small community of people who made them feel like family. Mike was known to have skills such as rappelling with ropes, understanding equipment, safety, and many other abilities that were beneficial to the department. Mike was known for his fun-loving personality and many times was the life of the annual Christmas party at the department. He enjoyed mentoring the young members. He was always so proud of “our fire department” and how they would readily go out into the community to help others with clean up after a hurricane or storm, search for a missing person, and many times help a family in need that was above and beyond their call of duty.

There really are not words to describe Mike’s love of his family. He was married to his wife, Donna, for 44 happy years, and they had just celebrated their anniversary on the day of his death. Mike was a loving father to his son and daughter, their spouses, and his five grandsons. He spent most of his free time enjoying the outdoors, hunting, and fishing with his family, especially those grandsons. How they adored time with him! His family and friends dearly miss his dynamic presence in our lives. We will forever love and honor his memory and remember his service to others!

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  1. Can’t find the words to express the loss of this HERO! Being a neighbor, a brother in the fire department, and great family friend, just wanted to say Mike was all that was written and even more. Love and Hugs to Ms Donna, Heath, Heather, and all of this precious family!!

    – Bull Rogers
  2. Mike was a true friend and brother. Always willing to help. The first one there and the last to leave. It was an honor to have known and served with this true gentleman. A hero only dies when his name is no longer mentioned, when his story’s are no longer told. Mike Canada will live forever. I love you brother. You are missed. Love to Donna, Hunter, Heather and all the grandkids!

    – Andy Holliman
  3. Donna, you spoke from your great big heart. I believe Mike would be/is very proud of his family. God bless you as you continue the journey God has written for you. I’m proud to call you my friend. ❤️

    I love you

    – Debbie Harris
  4. Mike was a kind hearted person with a love for his family, job, fire dept, and his fellow man. Although I was not around him alot, when I was he was always kind and considerate and professional. He is missed by all that knew him. God speed my friend.

    – Randall Manning