A memorial was held for a local firefighter who died in late January, and although he will no longer be serving the community, Gene Grainger, is leaving behind a way for others to follow in his footsteps.
“He had such a big heart,” his wife, Donna Grainger, said.
“His heart was bigger than this body,” American Legion Post Commander, Shawn Henning said.
Gene Grainger wore many hats.
He was a firefighter, paramedic and a member of the Sons of the American Legion.
“He was my friend,” Henning said.
Grainger’s family, friends, and partners in his line of duty mourned his passing together, but also cherished the memories that will live on.
“He wanted to invest even more in the community and he just took ownership of it and felt like it was his to protect,” his wife said.
Even though Gene Grainger will never lace up his boots for a call, his family is working to make sure others follow his lead through a memorial scholarship program.
“Gene really liked to help people further their interest is they wanted to be an EMT or a paramedic or a firefighter, or anything like that,” his wife said.
Henning was a friend to Gene Grainger and said he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“That focus on what his life was about, which was giving help in some fashion,” Henning said. “Whether it is through EMT services, nursing services, firefighters or paramedics.”
Grainger’s wife is now hoping that others will be inspired to continue the legacy as one of the community’s bravest.
“To him, he was nothing special, but I think him giving to young people in this scholarship that he would be very pleased with that,” she said.
While he will be missed by many those who knew him best say he truly did it his way by serving the community.
“This was the way he would want to do it,” Henning said.
“He cared about everyone he saw,” Donna said.