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Since our founding in 1984 when Officer James Johnson, East Lansing Police Department, was killed in the line of duty, other Police Officers and Firefighters from Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton Counties have given their lives for us.  We will be forever grateful for the sacrifice they and their families have made.

Each member of the Hundred Club of Greater Lansing contributes annual dues of one hundred dollars.  This money is used to provide immediate assistance to the families of police officers and firefighters who died in the line of duty within Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties.  We provide long-term support to surviving families.

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John Eastman ‘Dawg’ Lietzke
Olivet Fire Department – Michigan
Classification: Volunteer
Rank: Firefighter
Date of Death: September 25‚ 2007
Age: 47

Submitted by his Wife

My husband‚ John‚ was a wonderfully complex man. He was a loving husband; a wonderful father‚ stepfather and grandfather; a much loved son‚ brother‚ and uncle; and a truly loyal friend.

From all outward appearances‚ he was big‚ strong‚ and athletic: a man’s man. But he was also gentle‚ loving‚ caring‚ and considerate. He was fun-loving‚ with a loud‚ infectious laugh. A big kid at heart‚ at times he could be downright goofy.

‘His girls’ were the center of John’s world. When it came to family‚ he was a big softy. No matter how busy he was‚ he would always make time for his daughters’ fieldtrips‚ concerts‚ athletic events‚ or coaching their softball team‚ and quality time with me.

Inside‚ ‘Dawg’ was an adventurous spirit‚ willing to try just about anything. On his 40th birthday‚ he learned to skydive. Together‚ we traveled extensively in and out of the country. His love for working out was apparent from his strength; he could bench press 280 pounds. An avid bowler‚ he had several 300 games‚ but was an even better golfer‚ consistently scoring in the mid to high 30s.

Working hard was a way of life for John. For 26 years‚ he was a plumber/pipefitter/welder‚ but his passion was firefighting. Originally‚ he joined the Olivet Volunteer Fire Department as a younger man‚ but was forced to quit when he moved out of the area. However‚ his desire to return to firefighting never diminished‚ and he often spoke of those experiences. Several years later‚ after returning to the area‚ he once again became a proud member of the OVFD.

On the night of September 25‚ 2007‚ John was responding to one of those emergency calls during a severe thunderstorm. Just after cresting a hill‚ on a dark country road‚ John struck a large tree spanning the road that had been knocked down by torrential rains and extremely high winds. He was killed instantly.

The world has lost a truly remarkable man. The men and women of Olivet Fire Department‚ John’s family and his many‚ many friends were indeed fortunate to have known this man. The world is a much poorer place without him.

John‚ we will always love and miss you.