Jerry Chapman only 26 years young became a real HERO on April 17, 2013. Jerry was a fun loving young man who lived life on the edge and to the fullest. He was a delight to anyone who met him. He had a servant’s heart was a free spirit and was known for his passion for helping others and would go out of his way if he knew there was a need and do his best to find a way to meet it. He loved all things Batman, Star Wars, Tolkien and was an avid gamer.
As a young man, Jerry attended AWANA club at Pampa Bible Church for 13 years. He came all the way through the program which included learning and memorizing the Word of God, actively serving in his church then after High School graduation, went on a Mission Trip to Japan. After High School in 2005, Jerry chose to attend TSTC in Waco where he received an Associate of Applied Science Degree on December 11, 2007 he was on the Dean’s Honor Roll.
He loved electronics and wanted to be on the cutting edge of technology. His willing and giving spirit was a fit for the career he was choosing. He had found that niche while working for six years at the Black Eyed Pea and was the go to guy in a crisis.
Jerry became involved with the Abbott Volunteer Fire Department in 2011. He became NIMS compliant in many areas and received many certifications that furthered his career as a firefighter. In October of 2012 he received from the National Fire Academy Course ICS: 300 Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents for Operational First Responders and ICS-400: Advanced ICS for Command and General Staff, Complex Incidents and MACS for Operational First Responders both on October 5, 2012. In November of 2012 Jerry was given a certificate marking One year of service to Hill County through the Hill County Firefighters Association then began the EMT Course with West EMS was certified to administer CPR and AED and the course was to conclude at the end of April 2013 and as of April 15, 2013 he had passed his skills test and was near completion and ready for National Registry soon after.
Jerry’s desire was to become a Helicopter EMT. Flying was on the agenda but schooling was very expensive so he was doing the things he needed to do to provide the income necessary and take the steps to further his dream and make it a reality.
While attending one of his EMT classes on April 17, 2013 a call came in for assistance at the West Fertilizer Plant and he responded as an Abbott Volunteer Firefighter. He was giving by serving and protecting others while fighting a battle that he soon lost, only to be with Jesus. There are many who loved Jerry and will have a piece of their heart missing because of his absence.
Now he is in Heaven, flying far above all the worries and trials this world has to offer.
Survivors are his parents Dane and Rhonda Chapman of Hillsboro, his sister Shay and her husband Justin Pohlmann, a niece Chloe Rose and nephew Micah Dane. Grandparents are Gerald and Janet Chapman, Bryan and Joy McCulloch, Charlotte McCulloch and Great Grandmother Gladys Ragle. Numerous Aunts, Uncles and Cousins and lots of friends.
Kevin volunteered with Plainfield EMA (in IL) and did Search and Rescue. When we moved to Eddy, he started volunteering with the Bruceville-Eddy VFD shortly after. He was taking classes through West EMS to become an EMT and was hoping to become a career FF.
Kevin William Sanders was born outside Chicago on October 13, 1979, to Duane and Sandra Sanders. He grew up in Palos Hills, Illinois, and graduated from Marist High School in 1997. He graduated from the Urbana-Champaign in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and from Parkland College in 2003 with a veterinary technician certification.
Kevin truly believed in the strength and goodness of people. His passion in life was helping and caring for others. He held registered veterinary technician positions in Champaign, Illinois; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Plainfield, Illinois; Waco, Texas; and Hewitt, Texas. Kevin always did what he thought was right and strove to be the best he could be. He taught at Fox College in Tinley Park, Illinois, and McLennan Community College in Texas, inspiring greatness in his students. Kevin lived for the service of others through his participation in the Plainfield Emergency Management Agency in Illinois and the Bruceville-Eddy Volunteer Fire Department in Texas. He was soon to be an emergency medical technician, having just passed his skills test.
Kevin loved caring for animals, working on cars, restoring his 1970 Dodge Charger, listening to music, and attending concerts, watching the Chicago Bears and the Fighting Illini, playing paintball, and spending time with his family.
Kevin is survived by his wife, Sarah Sanders; his son, Reeve Sanders; his mother, Sandra Sanders; his maternal grandmother, Eleanore Frey; a sister, Jeanette (Tim) White and their two sons, Nolan and Alex White; a brother, Scott (Allison Muscolino) Sanders; and many friends and extended family. Kevin was preceded in death by his father, Duane Sanders.
Kevin died in the West Fertilizer Plant explosion on April 17, 2013. He was doing what he loved to do by serving and protecting others and will be forever remembered as a hero.
Phillip Wayne Townsend
Phillip Wayne Townsend was born in Sherman, Texas on January 8,1975 to Larry Townsend and Sherry Richardson. Phillip was raised in Denison, Tx and was very well known and highly respected in his community.
From the age of two his ultimate dream was to follow in his father's footsteps of becoming a Firefighter. He spent many days at the station and was very familiar and educated on the life of a Fireman.
Phillip was an athlete; playing football throughout his childhood until his knee injury in highschool. His football career had ended at that moment. In Phillip's Senior year of high school he won the honor of being called Mr. Wonderful with a high kick and a backflip that wowed the entire school. He graduated Denison High School in May of 1994.
After school he wanted to travel. He and his cousins set off to see all the beautiful places the United States had to offer three teenage boys.
After 9/11 Phillip felt a calling that many Americans did and that was to defend his Country all while raising his eldest son. Phillip serve the United States Army until January of 2005.
Phillip was active in his community, especially his Church. He was a youth minister at Truth Church in his hometown. Phillip's love for his community and sports led him into coaching girls softball. He was loved and respected by the young girls for his way of making a team sport into fun, but Championship quality teams.
On December 4, 2005 his dream of becoming a second generation Firefighter became a reality. The words he said will never be forgotton. " Now I can be just like my dad."
Phillip loved his career, he loved helping those in need and most of all, he enjoyed saving lives along side his father.
Phillip was a go getter. He worked tirelessly; he held the job of Firefighter/EMT, worked along side is father in their family Construction Company and was enrolled in school to finish his degree in Paramedicine; all this while being a loving and faithful partner, a father, son, brother and friend.
Little did any of us know that his dream of being a Firefighter would end so suddenly. On December 30, 2006 ( his mother's birthday) he left his earthly body to go to his home in Heaven. That day he woke me up, kissed me goodbye, said I love you and drove away. He left the drive at 6:36 that morning. While on his way to work he left his mother the last voice mail she would get from him.
Just after 9 am he arrived at the scene of a structure fire. Many things went wrong that day including radio problems to not having a command center stationed. At one point his low air alarm activated. His father changed his tank and patted him on the back. He turned to his father and spoke his last words, "I love you dad." The awning of the building collapsed and he was gone at that moment.
Phillip leaves behind his partner in love, Tresa Curtis, his three sons, Maddox, Rylen, and Tristian, his chosen daughter Kassidy, his parents Larry and Sherry, two sisters, Stormy and Lauren. He also leaves behind his grandparents, cousins, many neice and nephews, a host of friends, and his brothers at Denison Fire Department.
His legacy lives on through his children and those that knew and loved him dearly.