Submitted by his wife
A volunteer fireman with the Loretto Fire Department‚ Jason Lee Ellis died on May 28‚ 2003‚ as a result of injuries sustained in an accident during training at the State Fire Academy. Only thirty-years old at the time of his death‚ Jason touched the lives of many people in a very profound way during his short life. Public service was noble to him‚ and as both a volunteer fireman and a full time law enforcement officer‚ he exemplified the word service like few others can emulate.
Jason was born to Brenda and Woody Ellis‚ of Loretto‚ Tennessee‚ just two days before Christmas in 1973. Much like being a Christmas gift that year to his then six-year-old sister‚ Kim‚ he lived his entire life that way — as a gift to other people — always giving‚ always sharing.
He attended Loretto High School where he was very active in the music‚ drama‚ and sports programs. Like life‚ Jason tackled acting with gusto and threw himself into several plays‚ including the lead role in Tom Sawyer‚ a drama which garnered rave reviews. And in addition to being awarded a music scholarship his graduating year‚ he also was a very valuable member of the school’s tennis team.
At only nineteen years of age‚ he began his public safety career with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department. Jason had the unique ability to excel in whatever job he was asked to do‚ so it’s no wonder that in less than ten years he had been promoted four times. Beginning work as a Corrections Officer‚ he also served as a Communications Officer‚ Patrol Officer‚ DARE Officer‚ and Training Officer Sergeant. By coming up through the ranks‚ even in a relatively short period of time‚ Jason offered those with whom he worked a very unique perspective — he fully understood the intricate details and duties of each position subordinate to his own; and as a supervisor‚ he readily identified and compensated for the weaknesses of others.
As a volunteer fireman‚ Jason just wanted to help. He joined the Loretto Fire Department‚ and he was the one you could immediately count on — to always be at the meetings or to complete the more undesirable‚ menial tasks of equipment maintenance without being asked and without complaint — Jason simply epitomized service and sacrifice above self.
His death — so unexpected‚ so accidental — at such an early age sent shock waves throughout our community. The days and weeks after Jason’s death were so incredibly hard — they were the saddest days of my life‚ and I survived only with the concern‚ support‚ and prayers of my family‚ Jason’s family‚ and our many‚ many friends. Those first few days were a blur as I struggled to cope through the heavy fog of grief and sadness‚ but I met so many people whom Jason had touched. You see‚ if you knew Jason‚ you liked Jason — it was that simple — he never had an enemy‚ and he never met a stranger. Even though heartbroken and stricken with such grief‚ I marveled at the number of children from throughout the County who attended his memorial service; so many‚ in fact‚ we held it in the local high school gymnasium to accommodate all of those who wanted to bid their friend and role model farewell.
But Jason did not leave us altogether. I was three-months pregnant in May when Jason died‚ and six months later‚ looking down from his heavenly abode‚ Jason became the proud Daddy of a beautiful baby girl‚ Savannah Lee Ellis. I hope she always knows the kind‚ gracious‚ and wonderful man her Daddy was; although words can’t express what he means to me and our families‚ Jason had this unique‚ innate way of being very special to everyone he met‚ and he certainly made this world a better place for us all.
Submitted by his wife
Sam was a dedicated friend to his fellow firefighter‚ a beloved father‚ and adored by his wife. Sam died July 21‚ 2003‚ while during an overtime day at County Station 63. Sam was 50 years old at the time of this death.
Sam was born in Henning‚ Tennessee‚ where he was the 11th child of 12 children born to the late Pauline and Joe Green.
Sam was a Private with the Shelby County Fire Department for 23 years and planned to retire in two more years. During his tenure he was awarded numerous service awards. He was a faithful contributor to United Way Charities. Sam was a dedicated and loyal fire fighter who loved his job and co-workers. On May‚ 13‚ 2004‚ which was Sam birthday‚ a Pumper Dedication Ceremony was held at County Station 64 in Millington‚ Tennessee. This was where Sam first started his employment as a Shelby County Firefighter. At this ceremony a pumper was dedicated in his name.
Sam was the first Shelby County Firefighter to died while on duty. Sam really loved fire fighting and this pumper was dedicated in his memory and it was said that everytime a fire call comes to Station 64‚ he will roll out with the other fire fighter. There was also a memory book signed by some of his fellow firefighters and I would like to quote some of the comments. One firefighter said‚ ‘Sam was a real joy to work with. I came through fire school with Sam and worked with him for many years‚ he was always a joy to work with. I miss him.’ Another fire fighter says‚ ‘Sam lives on!’
There was also a Certificate of Appreciation presented in recognition of a career of dedication and services to the Shelby County Fire Department for 23 years of services by the Shelby County Mayor‚ A. C. Wharton‚ Jr.
Sam loved his family and he was admired by his beloved wife‚ Margie‚ his adoring daughters‚ Spanisha and Jessica‚ his stepdaughter‚ Kimberly Leggins‚ his stepson‚ Kenneth (Wanda) Dalton‚ his grandchildren‚ Diamond‚ Kierra‚ Martavius‚ Kenneth‚ Jr.‚ KenTesha and Kenya‚ his sisters‚ Louise‚ (Jessie) Halliburton‚ Geraldine (Spencer) Morgan‚ Mary M. Johnson‚ Josie (John L.) Walker‚ Diane Green‚ Rosie Mae (Levi) Morgan‚ Frankie B. Gwynne‚ and his one brother Joe Green‚ Jr. His sister -in-laws‚ Janice (Irwin) Guada and Annie Mccoy‚ one brother-in-law‚ Robert (Rosie) McCoy. Samuel L. Green will be greatly missed by his family‚ friends‚ and fellow fire fighter.
Richard A. Majors‚ 45‚ career firefighter‚ Nashville Fire Department‚ died January 11‚ 2002‚ when he suffered a heart attack after responding to several calls.
He was a member of Jefferson City Fire Department only 6 months. Prior to this Shane was volunteer fireman with Lakeway Central Volunteer Fire Department and had been since he was seventeen years old. While at the Jefferson City Fire Department‚ he enrolled in the first responder classes‚ with the goal of being certified with the EMS. At Lakeway Central‚ Shane received all of his certifications of being a fireman at Lakeway Central where he was 1st Lieutenant. His personal interest and achievement was to be the best fireman he could be and to help any one that needed help. He loved to hunt and go fishing with his friends. His survivors are as follows: mother and step-father Dana and Eddie Hoffner‚ grandparents Bill and Jewell Murray‚ uncles Danny Murray‚ Timmy Mayes‚ aunt Angie Mayes and cousin Lindsey Murray and special 2nd cousin Morgan. The thing you remember most about Shane was that silly little grin and he always had a smile on his face. He was not afraid to show his true feelings and was a very dedicated fireman. He loved his job and he gave it 100% always and was doing so at the time of his tragic death. He and God have given my family the strength to keep going. Thank you Shane and the Lord above. We love and miss you‚ always in our heart and on our mind.
Submitted by his daughter
Glen or ‘Poor Boy’ as his family & friends knew him was raised in the small coal mining town of Briceville. Because money was so tight he had to quit school after the fourth grade to help support his family. At the age of 25 he married Betty Jean Cooper and they would have celebrated their 47th Wedding Anniversary March 9‚ 2003. During their life together they had four children‚ two sons Larry Poore and Rickey Poore‚ 2 daughters Deborah Poore and Missy Poore Fleming‚ Deborah dying at the age of 14 months old. Other members of his family include 2 daughter-in-laws Becky and Evelyn Poore‚ son-in-law Dan Fleming‚ 2 granddaughters Selicia and Amber Poore and 2 grandsons Rickey Glen Poore and Daniel Robert Fleming‚ who all loved him very much. His pastime was working on lawn mowers which he loved to do. People would call from all around to have him work on their lawn mowers and most of the time it would cost him more to fix them than he would charge. That’s just the type of person he was.
He was a member of Briceville Church of God but never missed a service that his son Larry preached. He retired from Rexnord Corporation after 15 years of employment. He was an approximate 30 year member of Crystal Lodge #616. In his earlier years‚ he served as an Auxiliary Deputy for the Anderson County Sheriffs Department. He believed in upholding the law no matter who you where‚ which left most loving him‚ a few disliking him but all respecting him. He was the founding member of the Briceville Volunteer Fire Department in 1974. He was still active at the age of 71 when he died. He was always the first on scene. He was devoted to the fire department and helping others. When asked why he did this he stated‚ ‘He couldn’t sleep at night knowing others needed his help.’ Examples of his caring range from helping a friend build a lot to keep his goats in to picking up milk or bread for a neighbor who needed it to once he took a stranger to the doctor who didn’t have a way to get there and then wouldn’t accept any money for gas. Could many of us say that we could be so unselfish? As a matter of fact he was helping others the night that he died.
It was the night (11/10/03) that the tornados came ripping through Anderson and Morgan Counties. He was out with the fire department helping others get out of their homes when he received word that a tornado had hit his home. Moments before‚ he called his wife‚ who was staying the night with their daughter‚ and made sure they where safe. He checked on his sons‚ daughter-in-laws and grandchildren before going to check on his home. After arriving at his home and seeing the devastation‚ he suffered a heart attack in the road in front of his house and God called him home. Approximately 750 people paid their respects when Glen was laid to rest and received a Highest Honor Firemen’s Concession.
Who would have thought that a poor boy from a small town‚ with a limited education would be received as such a hero. This only proves what a rich life he lived. He may have come into this world poor but he definitely didn’t leave it that way.
Submitted by his mother
My heart took delight in all my work‚ and this was the reward for all my labor. Ecclesiastes 2:10b‚ NIV Devotional Bible.
A hero is defined as a man of distinguished valor; one consisting of bravery and courage. Jason Kevin Jackson‚ 17 year old volunteer firefighter‚ who died while enroute to a brush fire‚ was all these things and more.
Jason Kevin Jackson‚ a native of New Orleans‚ Louisiana‚ served as an Almaville Volunteer Firefighter. He did so in an attempt to help keep his community safe. Dan Whittle‚ of Rutherford Courier states it best when writing‚ ‘at age 17‚ his life’s flame was snuffed-out‚ but his touch of volunteer public service will forever light his community’s landscape.’
Jason was a graduate of Smyrna High School of Tennessee’s class of 2002. Jason was not the typical graduating Senior‚ however‚ he yearned to do a variety of tasks in a short period of time. He was a member of the 304th Military Police Battalion‚ the 450th Military Police Company‚ a trained firefighter‚ as listed above‚ a second Lieutenant in the ROTC‚ and was enlisted in the United States Armed Forces. Jason lived by the familiar phrase‚ ‘If I can help somebody as I pass along‚ then my living shall not be in vain.’
Jason’s time and love was spread amongst all whom he met. While in New Orleans‚ La.‚ he volunteered as a camp counselor in an attempt to touch at least one child’s life. He continued to reach out to children as he grew older as well. Jason understood that children are our future and sometimes they simply need a boost in the right direction.
Jason was a family-oriented individual. He would do anything within his limits. He was selfless‚ loving and considerate of all he made contact with. However‚ there was yet more to Jason Jackson. He was also a joy to be around. He always had a smile on his face and was willing and able to make others smile as well.
Jason would share the good times with a smile that’s always warm and bright; his care and assurance would make everything all right. No matter what the need‚ he would do the best to lend a hand. He would listen with the concern that showed he understood. He could not be more caring in the things he would say and do. LIFE IS RICH IN ENDLESS WAYS–JASON‚ ALL BECAUSE OF YOU.
Submitted by his Fire Chief
Having been with us only 2 years‚ Jason touched the lives and hearts of many people. As a devoted brother and son‚ he was involved in numerous activities at Smyrna High including music‚ honors and sports before his graduation in 2002.
Jason was to report for military duty with US Army in only 3 weeks. His three vital interest were his mom/brother‚ the fire department and the military. Jason loved the fire department‚ so much he would come hang out at the station while on his lunch break. He was so prone to learning all he could about the fire apparatus and equipment.
Jason left behind his mother‚ older brother‚ younger sister and a baby brother. His favorite meal was any combo meal from McDonalds. He is our personal hero‚ a friend and dedicated member and will be considered our brother whom gave it all!
Submitted by his daughter
Dennis Leland Harris‚ 43‚ Volunteer Firefighter for Mount Vernon Volunteer Fire Department in Tellico Plains‚ Tennessee‚ died December 5‚ 2003‚ when he suffered a heart attack after assisting with a house fire.
Dennis was a Pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Sweetwater‚ Tennessee. He loved being outside‚ working on his church and helping others. He was given an award for helping clean up a 100 plus car pileup on Interstate 75 in Calhoun‚ Tennessee. He touched many lives‚ so many that over 70 fire trucks from several surrounding counties lead his funeral procession. Dennis was survived by a wife‚ 2 daughters‚ one son and one grandson.
We often ask ourselves ‘why?’ ‘Why did he have to go so early‚ he had so much more to see and do?’ But as daddy would always say‚ ‘Don’t ask why‚ just be happy with what you have.’ I guess for the family‚ that means wonderful memories. I thank God everyday that I had him as long as I did.
Daddy‚ I sure miss you‚ but Heaven’s sweeter with you there.
Hairold loved the outdoors. He enjoyed fishing and hunting and working with woodcrafts. Hairold was a carpenter as well as a wildland firefighter.
Hairold was a person that enjoyed the simple things in life. He enjoyed just being with family and friends and having a good time. He was always pulling practical jokes on the family and friends.
He was a much loved husband‚ father‚ and grandfather. He was always willing to help his family and friends.
Debra was the First Female Firefighter of the White Pine Volunteer Fire Department. She was instrumental in establishing the Junior Fire Cadet Program. Her son Josh was the first White Pine Junior Fire Cadet.
Debra was always willing to help out with Fundraising Activities‚ Fire Prevention Programs‚ picnics‚ and the Annual Christmas Dinner. Debra also coordinated the Toys for Tots Program each year. She completed her Emergency Medical First Responder Class‚ and was certified in the State of Tennessee as an Emergency Medical First Responder.
She was proud to be a Firefighter with her son Josh. She felt the need to help others. She attended many Training Sessions‚ to better herself as a Firefighter. She volunteered countless numbers of hours at the station.
Her positive attitude and her determination‚ enthusiasm‚ and desire to help others will always be felt at the station. Debra will be sorely missed‚ but never forgotten.
William M. Blakemore‚ Sr.‚ 48‚ a career private with the Memphis Fire Department‚ died on March 8‚ 2000‚ of a gunshot wound sustained while responding to an arson fire.