Submitted by his wife
Rick Wilbur was the heart of his family‚ his friends‚ his community and his fire department. He will live on in our hearts and memories.
Rick died March 28th‚ 2004‚ while on a fire call. Rick was a founding member of the Eaton Rapids Township Fire Department starting January 1st‚ 1988. He served first as a Lieutenant‚ Deputy Chief‚ then becoming Chief on January 1st‚ 2000. Rick started his volunteer fire career with the Eaton Rapids City Fire Department before 1988. First joining the Eaton Rapids Area Ambulance Service as an Emergency Medical Technician. After a few years they asked him to become a fireman.
Rick was an instructor for the American Red Cross in CPR and First Aid. He never charged for teaching anyone. He felt if someone saved a life by his teaching that was payment enough. There was and still are lives being saved because of him. Rick was a State Certified FFI & II instructor for the state of Michigan.
Rick also was a photographer. He saw the beauty in everything and this showed in his pictures. Rick loved just to get away and go camping or just to get out and get back to the basics of the simple life.
Rick was a prankster and a joker. He always had a joke & a smile for everyone. There was always joking around about his Ford trucks. It was commonly known as his girlfriend because of all the time he spent with it.
Rick was a devoted family man himself. He was really just starting to enjoy being a grandpa. Rick was a very special caring friend to many.
Rick is survived by his wife Linda (of 21 years of marriage)‚ his three children: Thomas (Peggy)‚ Robert (Becky) and Saunci (Rodger) Steele and 10 grandchildren. He is also survived by his family and extended family‚ his dearest friends in the world Roger and Linda McNutt. He will be greatly missed by many in the fire service.
Terry True ‘Ted’ Oliver‚ Sr.‚ 58‚ Assistant Chief of the Eaton Rapids City Fire Department‚ died on February 19‚ 1999‚ of a heart attack after collapsing at the scene of a house fire. A volunteer firefighter for 33 years‚ his family has served the fire department for over 100 years. Oliver retired from GM after 33 years and began building homes ‘just for fun.’
Clinton County Sheriff's Department, MI
End of Watch: Saturday, March 27, 2004
Deputy Perry Fillmore was killed in an automobile accident on Grange Road, in Westphalia Township, while responding to backup another officer.
Deputy Fillmore lost control of his patrol car and crashed into a house.
Deputy Fillmore had served with the Clinton County Sheriff's Department for 8 years. He is survived by his wife.
Tour: 1 year, 6 months
Badge # 5497
Cause: Vehicle pursuit
Incident Date: 12/7/2014
Suspect: In custody
Grant William Whitaker
Ingham County Sheriff's Office, Michigan
End of Watch: Sunday, December 7, 2014
Deputy Sheriff Grant Whitaker was killed in a vehicle crash during a pursuit on Dexter Trail, one mile east of Route 52, at approximately 2:00 am.
Deputy Whitaker's patrol car left the roadway and struck a tree during the pursuit, causing him to suffer fatal injuries. The vehicle he was pursuing continued to flee.
The driver of the vehicle was arrested several days later and charged with fleeing to elude causing death and operating a vehicle on a suspended license causing death.
Deputy Whitaker had served with the Ingham County Sheriff's Office for 1-1/2 years. He had previously served with the Stockbridge Police Department and Waterloo Township Police Department.
Submitted by his Family
Tim’s firefighting career started in the early 1980s with the Birch Run Fire Department in Birch Run‚ Michigan. In 2002‚ he joined Clinton Area Fire and Rescue as a volunteer firefighter in St. John’s‚ Michigan. He was a third generation firefighter.
Tim was known for his sense of humor‚ hard work‚ and dedication to his department‚ job‚ and his family. He was the kind of person that you could never forget; always made you smile‚ and was never at a loss for words.
When he was going through his pre-certification classes‚ his firefighting brothers and sisters dubbed him Grandpa‚ because of his gray hair and being the oldest in the class. He took great pride in his new name.
Sadly‚ on June 22‚ 2007‚ while fighting a house fire‚ he suffered a massive heart attack. He passed away en route to the hospital at the age of 56. He left behind his wife of 31 years‚ Marie; and three daughters‚ Shannon (Tim) Freeland‚ Lisa (Derek) Smith‚ and Amy Sanborn.
After 34 years of service‚ he had retired from General Motors the previous year and was looking forward to living the retired life‚ playing lots of golf‚ hunting‚ traveling to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula‚ and spending time with his wife‚ who had also just recently retired.
In July 2007‚ at the annual Clinton Area Fire and Rescue Steak Fry‚ Tim was named Firefighter of the Year for 2006-2007 by his fellow firefighters‚ for his outstanding courage‚ bravery‚ and dedication to serve and protect.
Tim was very proud to be a member of the Clinton Area Fire and Rescue and the service that he provided to his community. There will always be an empty place in the hearts of his family‚ friends‚ and fellow firefighters. Tim was and will always be our hero.
John Eastman ‘Dawg’ Lietzke
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.