Firefighter Clifford Robert Sanders, age 55, of the Caney Volunteer Fire Department suffered a stroke while responding to a grass fire and later died on January 29, 2015.
Firefighter Ronnie W. Peek, age 49, of the Garden City Fire Department died after mandatory Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) training on January 22, 2015.
Training Officer Michael B. Corn, age 67, of the Conway Springs Fire Department collapsed and died while preparing to respond to a structure fire on April 27, 2015.
Jim Niles‚ 59‚ died Thursday‚ January 13‚ 2011. He was born on September 13‚ 1951‚ in Beloit‚ Kansas‚ to Darwin ñBuzzî and Ida (Greig) Niles. When Jim was 13‚ the family moved to Loveland‚ Colorado‚ where he later met and married Karen (Sheaffer) Niles. They had two children‚ Mike and Debbie.
Jim’s interest in building motors in the early 70’s led him to drag racing. One of the cars he drove even set a track record in Cheyenne‚ Wyoming. He then spent most of his life working as an automotive technician for dealerships in Loveland‚ Colorado; Cheyenne‚ Wyoming; and Cawker City and Beloit‚ Kansas. He was ASE L1 Master Certified and owned his own business‚ Community Auto‚ in Downs‚ for over 20 years.
Jim played men’s and coached women’s softball in Colorado. After the family moved to Kansas in the early 80’s‚ he helped coach youth league baseball as well. He always cherished the time he spent being with or helping children‚ including Karen’s babysitting kids and especially his grandchildren.
Jim was an avid hunter and enjoyed 25 years of hunting elk in Colorado. This last fall‚ he even got to take his grandson on his first elk hunt. As much as he loved hunting elk‚ his true passion was pheasant hunting over good dogs with his favorite 16 gauge shotgun. Jim also spent a lot of time studying ballistics and excelled at the fine art of hand-loading his own ammunition.
Jim owned and trained several horses throughout his life‚ and enjoyed participating in team penning events across the state of Kansas. He was also a familiar sight riding in the Downs Celebration Parade or sometimes even riding his horse in places he maybe shouldn’t have been.
Jim was a true cowboy who never passed up an opportunity to go two-stepping‚ and he and Karen led many wedding grand marches for couples in the area. Jim attended the First Christian Church of Downs‚ Kansas.
For the last 18 years‚ he had been an active member of the Downs Volunteer Fire Department. He was elected 2nd captain in 2003‚ and was promoted to 1st captain in 2006‚ the position in which he was currently serving. The service and camaraderie he felt with this group of men had become a joy to him that can’t be described in words.
Jim was preceded in death by his father‚ Buzz. He is survived by his wife‚ Karen‚ of the home; his son‚ Mike‚ and wife‚ Jonell‚ of Great Bend‚ Kansas; his daughter‚ Debbie Niles‚ of Ellinwood‚ Kansas; a brother‚ Dan Niles‚ of Downs; a sister‚ Thelma Franzen‚ and husband‚ Merlin‚ of San Angelo‚ Texas; his mother‚ Ida Niles‚ of Downs; and four grandchildren.
John Bradford Glaser was born October 7‚ 1976‚ in Kansas City‚ Missouri‚ to Arvon and Patty Glaser. He was a 1995 graduate of Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park‚ Kansas. John earned his BA degree in 2000 from the University of Kansas‚ where he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
On June 21‚ 2004‚ John began his career as a firefighter with the City of Shawnee Fire Department. He was a member of the water rescue team‚ where he achieved his certification as a Swift Water Rescue I swimmer and ice rescue technician. John was also a member of the hazardous materials team‚ where he achieved his certification as a hazardous materials technician and in chemistry of hazardous materials. John achieved the level of Firefighter III.
John met his future wife‚ Amber‚ in high school‚ and they were later married on August 27‚ 2005‚ in Lawrence‚ Kansas. John and Amber had two children. Brecken Joseph was born October 18‚ 2007‚ and Emma Grace was born December 10‚ 2009.
John was an all-American guy. He loved his family and friends‚ watching sports‚ and competing in triathlons. He was an avid Kansas Jayhawks fan. He was a man of character; he was funny‚ smart‚ and full of life. John could walk into a room full of complete strangers and leave with lifelong friends. Above all‚ John was an amazing husband and father to Brecken and Emma. In the 33 years he was here‚ John touched so many lives and inspired each of us to be a better person.
John died on Saturday‚ May 22‚ 2010‚ in the line of duty‚ while attempting a rescue in a structure fire. Although John is not with us today‚ he’s forever in our hearts.
Larry was a man of his word whose life reflected his faith. His joy was to be of service to others.
Larry was born on January 28‚ 1945‚ in Pratt‚ Kansas. He graduated from high school in Lorraine‚ Kansas‚ in 1963. He joined the Marine Corps and served twice in Vietnam. Larry liked to travel and chose to serve in the embassy duty as a Marine Corps guard. He was stationed in the American Embassy in Moscow‚ Russia‚ where he met his future wife‚ Rosy‚ a native of Switzerland. Afterwards‚ he was stationed at the embassy in Bern‚ Switzerland‚ where he and Rosy married in 1967. Larry was a loving husband to Rosy and father to his daughter‚ Diana‚ and son‚ Thomas.
Larry’s heart was informing‚ and he and Rosy moved to Lorraine in 1968. He farmed until 1974‚ when he started to work at the Lorraine Grain Fuel and Stock Company. He worked as a grain elevator superintendent until his death in 2010. He found much satisfaction in his work‚ as he liked to help farmers.
His community was very important to him. He joined the Lorraine Volunteer Fire Department in 1974 and had served as the department’s chief since 1990. He enjoyed serving with the other firefighters. He was happy giving rides on the fire truck to the children when they had fire department fundraisers.
The firefighters showed their love by leading the funeral procession in their fire trucks and by honoring him with the last call at the cemetery.
Larry served on the Lorraine City Council and was an usher at the First Baptist Church of Lorraine‚ where he enjoyed greeting people.
When his son‚ Thomas‚ joined the Boy Scouts in 1984‚ Larry became a Boy Scout leader‚ a role he enjoyed until he passed away. He was a member of the Arrow and Brotherhood. He was a 2002 recipient of the Silver Beaver Award.
Larry was a patriotic man. He joined the American Legion Post #200 in Holyrood‚ Kansas‚ in 1977‚ and served three times as a commander. He also was a member of the VFW Post 6485 in Ellsworth.
Larry lived a full life and is loved and missed by all who knew him.
Stan was born on January 17‚ 1941‚ to Melvel and Martha (Zuidema) Giles in Muskegon‚ Michigan‚ and grew up in Arizona. He had one younger sister‚ Sandy. After graduating from Santa Cruz Valley High School in Casa Grande‚ Arizona‚ he joined the Air Force with the intention of making that his career. He was trained as a jet mechanic and sent back to the upper peninsula of Michigan for his duty station. He was a firm believer that if you were raised in the desert and used to the heat‚ the military would send you to cold country to cool you down. He was injured while on duty‚ sent to Illinois for treatment and evaluation of the injury‚ and discharged for medical reasons.
In 1965‚ he married Frances (Fran) Watson. They moved to Tulsa‚ Oklahoma‚ where their son‚ Robert‚ was born in 1967. Stan worked for Ford Distributing as a route salesman. In 1970‚ they moved to Arkansas‚ where he was a volunteer deputy sheriff for the White County Sheriff’s Department and a route salesman for Wonder Bread. In 1974‚ he moved the family to Overland Park‚ Kansas‚ after taking a position with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company as a service manager. During his 17 years with Goodyear‚ he was promoted to district automotive service manager‚ covering four states.
After leaving Goodyear‚ he taught auto mechanics at the Area Vocational Training School in the Kansas City‚ Kansas‚ school district where he was chosen ‘Teacher of the Year’ his last year of teaching. Then he and Fran moved to Linn Valley Lakes so Stan could play golf and fish if he wasn’t on the golf course. He decided he would join the Linn Valley Lakes Volunteer Fire Department to have something to do when he wasn’t playing golf and while Fran was at work during the day. He spent over ten years in the department‚ including eight years as fire chief. During his tenure as fire chief‚ he helped the department grow from just a few to approximately 18 volunteers‚ added two newer fire trucks‚ replaced worn out equipment‚ introduced First Responder training to the force‚ worked with the county fire director to get his firefighters certified‚ and assisted the community in offering fire safety programs for the residents. Stan was looking forward to attending his grandson Brenden’s Eagle Scout ceremony in Cincinnati in 2012.
Everyone knew Stan‚ and if they needed anything they could call him and he would come. From getting skunks out from under the porch to putting out house fires‚ he was always there. His family and his community miss him greatly.
Jon Siemers was born September 30‚ 1965‚ in Hays‚ Kansas‚ to Ted and Bev (Kincaid) Siemers. In 1973‚ when Jon was still a boy‚ his family moved to Wyoming. They moved to Clay Center‚ Kansas‚ in 1982‚ after his dad retired from the Union Pacific Railroad.
In 1985‚ Jon married Brenda Jensen; they were married for 24_ years when he died. In 1985‚ Jon and Brenda welcomed their first son‚ Daniel‚ followed by Courtney in 1988‚ and then Adam in 1992. All three of his boys followed in his footsteps‚ becoming members of the Clay Center Fire Department.
Jon joined the National Guard in 1984 and ended his enlistment in 1995. He started working at the city street department in 1987. In 1988‚ he became a volunteer of the Clay Center Fire Department. In 1997‚ he transferred from the street department and became a full-time firefighter. He became chief of the department in 2003‚ where he served until his death in 2010. Jon was also a member of the North Central Kansas Homeland Security Council‚ KSFFA and Clay County Rescue. Along with these‚ he was also the building inspector for the city.
Jon loved his job and helping the community. He enjoyed helping young people in the community learn about fire safety and fire prevention. He was the leader of the Explorer program at the fire department for several years. He also wrote many grants and helped get new tornado sirens for the city.
Jon loved to hunt‚ fish‚ and run cars in the demolition derby. He enjoyed being with his family and took pride in having family dinners on Sunday‚ where he was able to cook for everyone. In July 2008 he became a grandpa‚ which he considered to be one of his proudest moments. He was making plans after his retirement to spend all his time spoiling his grandson.
Jon will be missed by all. He will always be remembered for his great sense of humor‚ his smile‚ and his wave he had for everyone he met.
Harold was born February 5‚ 1936‚ in rural Havana‚ Kansas. He was one of seven siblings. Harold was an outstanding athlete in high school‚ lettering in football‚ basketball‚ and track all four years. He graduated from Peru High School in 1954.
He married Edna in 1957‚ and they had three wonderful children‚ Elizabeth‚ Harold Jr.‚ and Tracy. He loved and enjoyed his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Nick‚ his oldest grandson‚ had served with him on the fire department for the past 10 years.
Harold D. Reed Sr. was 74 years old when he died of a heart attack while fighting a grass fire. He had been a volunteer firefighter for the city of Peru‚ and then captain of the Chautauqua County Rural Fire District #3 in Peru‚ Kansas‚ for a total of 47 years.
His dedication to the community went beyond just the fire department. He also served as mayor and councilman for the city of Peru for 50 years. While in office‚ he worked on countless projects to help improve the city. His proudest accomplishment was the completion of new water and sewer lines. His fair‚ consistent leadership and willingness to help others made him a very well respected and loved person in the community.
His interests and achievements have been his family‚ friends‚ and fire department. He was a great son‚ husband‚ dad‚ grandpa‚ great-grandpa‚ friend‚ community leader‚ and firefighter.
Captain Urban A. Eck was a 27-year veteran of the Wichita Fire Department. He was injured while working at a two alarm building fire on December 13‚ 2009. He died on January 2‚ 2010.
Captain Eck was 51 and is survived by his wife‚ Lori‚ and their eight children.
Captain Eck was hired by the Wichita Fire Department on March 29‚ 1982‚ and was assigned to Station 11 at 1845 George Washington Boulevard. He was promoted to lieutenant in November 1989 and to captain in January 1994. He also served the community as a member of the Hazardous Materials Response Team.
Captain Eck was one of several Wichita Fire Department firefighters recognized by Firehouse Magazine for his courageous efforts during a 2008 house fire.
Captain Eck is remembered by all who knew him as a leader. In 2010‚ he was posthumously named Firefighter of the Year for his years of dedication to the fire service and the community.
‘Urban was a dedicated public servant and outstanding fire officer‚’ Chief Ronald D. Blackwell said. ‘He was always there for the public and for his fellow firefighters in times of need. He will be sorely missed.’