Memorial Foundation Report – May 2022

By the time you read this article, the annual Memorial Services May 14-15 have likely concluded. We are providing honors to eigth line-of-duty hero’s who passed during 2021 or previously.

We also recognized 62 names for their service during 2021 and previous years. We are very aware there are others who passed during 2021 considered to be line-of-duty due to COVID exposure. With all things federal or state government related, their review with written confirmation either as part of the Public Safety Officer’s Benefits Program or tthe State Worker’s Compensation takes time to finalize. Especially at the federal level, plus they are now greatly behind due to COVID claims. Brian Zinanni continues to work tirelessly through these extended and frequently extrapolated processes. Several names from 2021 were not yet processed by the March 30th cut-off but will hopefully be finalized in time for the May 2023 services. Our apologies to those families which continue to wait due to a process outside of the Foundation’s control. 

Our Chaplin for the Saturday night Candlelight Service is former Foundation Board Member/Treasurer Dr. Ronald Baker. Our keynote speaker for Sunday morning is Fire Chief Donna Lake with the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department. We have added what we hope will be received as service program improvements for 2022. State Fire Marshal Tim Bean has advocated for a formal line-of-duty family escort. This will be the first time we have added this to the ceremony. Their entry for seating will be at the start of the service. We have planned to live stream the Sunday morning service. It will be dependent on the internet and equipment playing nicely with each other to be successful. I will defer further comment until my next Foundation report.

The Line-of-Duty Trailer for the Firefighter Funeral Assistance Team was not large enough for all of the required items. More space was needed for the portable scaffolding (risers) than expected. A longer trailer was purchased and delivered in record time. It is now ready for service. The previous trailer, 99% new, will be sold. A new bell that is much larger in size, design, molded images and restricted purpose was also added to the LODD trailer. It is significant to mention the bell was a large cost and an anonymous gift to the team. It will only be used in recognition for LODD honors, including our annual service. They have also added 10 new radios, now allowing their support staff to quietly communicate as a collective group or groups versus having to rely on their mobile phones as in the past. Year to date as of April 29th, they have responded to six LODD requests and 10 non-LODD.

The Funeral Assistance Team is not recognized often enough for what they accomplish. True to their core values, they manage dozens of especially important details, very quietly, deep in the background to keep the primary focus, emphasis and honors on those who have served and passed. So much goes on outside of public view for the greater good, to honor those who served their respective communities.

We have a new online store allowing custom product shopping anytime versus waiting until fire school, convention or our May services. We now offer a much larger line of items and it will be expanding through the end of the year. There is also a review underway in looking at varied logo and images to add a variety of custom options in what you want to display. A challenge coin is also in the works. Online store details are in the magazine, so check us out. 


The Memorial Foundation has just launched a new Facebook page, also detailed in this edition of the magazine. Please check us out and “like” and invite your friends to the page.



Cornelius C. Crowley
St. Joseph Fire Department
January 8, 1908 • Firefighter

George W. Shoemaker
Brookfield Fire Department
January 10, 1942 • Firefighter

Ralph Aaron Goddard
Springfield Fire Department
June 21, 2015 • Firefighter

Ronald W. Wehlage, Jr.
Desoto Rural Fire Protection District
June 30, 2020 • Lieutenant

Rodney L. Heard Sr.
St. Louis Fire Department
June 15, 2021 • Firefighter

Marvin Shaffrey
Cedar Hill Fire Protection District
November 2, 2021 • Battalion Chief

Ivan Daniel Lagrand
Cape Girardeau Fire Department
December 1, 2021 • Captain

Bryant E. Gladney
Boone County Fire Protection District
December 22, 2021 • Assistant Chief