Shawn was born December 16‚ 1977‚ in Queens‚ New York‚ and lived in the city with his mother until age three. They then moved to Oregon‚ where he was raised for the remainder of his life. Growing up in Oregon was the love of his life. The mountains were his serenity. Shawn was very outgoing‚ involved with the outdoors through activities such as hiking‚ fishing‚ camping‚ hunting‚ and swimming. When he was not in the woods‚ he was playing basketball‚ football‚ and baseball‚ or spending time with family and friends.
Shawn’s interest in the fire service began at a late age‚ but it became his true calling and passion. He began working for Grayback Forestry in the summer of 2007. He completely and utterly fell in love with being in the mountains at all hours of the day and night. Working with his comrades and his crew bosses‚ who he called his fierce leaders‚ was the most joyous time of his life. It was all he could talk about. Shawn could not wait to get back out there with his brothers and fight those ferocious fires burning in the mountains. Growing up in Oregon‚ this made him feel complete‚ important‚ a part of something so radical‚ to have a brotherhood and–the best part–see the mountains as we will never see ourselves. ‘Like heaven‚’ he would say.
Although Shawn never married‚ his true love was his family and closest friends. He watched over and took care of his disabled mother for three years‚ as well as fixing cars‚ cooking‚ cleaning‚ and doing all the heavy lifting when needed. He could fix or repair anything he put his hands on. In the family he was known as ‘The Stomach‚’ because he could eat as if he was a bottomless pit. He was the man in the family‚ with only his mother and little sister to attend to. He did whatever he could to help‚ and that’s what made firefighting so important and complete for Shawn. He loved to take care of people‚ and through firefighting he could do so much more.
On August 5‚ 2008‚ Shawn Patrick Blazer was with his brothers‚ pretty jazzed about holding the line that day. They had accomplished what they came there to do. However‚ the helicopter carrying the firemen could not carry them out. It tragically crashed and burned on the mountain. As the song says‚ ‘Fire on the mountain‚ lighting in the air‚ gold in them hills‚ and it’s waiting for me there.’
He is our family hero and will be greatly missed by all he touched. His life will live on forever in our hearts.