Late Davis fire chief honored as man with 'big heart'
Cancer was tough on Larry Gregory, but so was retiring from his post of 15 years as Farmington's fire chief.
"I think the day he wheeled his truck out of his driveway about two weeks ago was one of the hardest things he ever had to do," said his son, Spencer Gregory, at funeral services honoring his father Thursday.
Gregory submitted a letter of resignation on Sept. 14, due to advancing cancer and died a week and a half later. He is survived by four sons and his wife, Meledie. He was 64.
A flag is raised during the interment of the longtime Farmington fire chief Larry Gregory on Thursday.
From the archive
•Farmington fire chief passes away
– Sept. 24, 2010
A big heart was the chief's most notable quality and motivated his interaction with family, co-workers and the people whose homes and lands he tried to save.
"I learned a lot from my dad," Spencer Gregory said. He had a "positive attitude about people in general."
Displays of red and orange flowers lined the front of the LDS church in Centerville where the services were held, and men and women with patches on their sleeves representing police, fire and sheriff's departments were almost as numerous as the mourners without them.
Fireman Wayne Goodfellow was one of Gregory's firefighters and said the chief was always there for his men. He always wanted to know about the problems of "his calvary," as he called them.
Goodfellow said Gregory's motto was, "If you take care of the guys, they'll be able to take care of the job."
The chief helped hundreds of people, many on the worst day of their life, as they watched their homes damaged or destroyed by flames.
"He helped them calm down, often with an arm over a shoulder," he said. "Your problem became his problem."
Meledie Gregory relayed a message through her son, telling her husband's colleagues of her appreciation for them.
"She feels fortunate to have a front-row seat to see God's hand working through you," he said.
Farmington Mayor Scott Harbertson said he respected Gregory in all their interactions, especially as he worked closely with him in public office.
Harbertson joked that it was remarkable the two were such good friends, since "I'm the guy that has cut the helicopter out of the budget for the last five years."
Several speakers reflected on Gregory's love of helicopters, as he often volunteered to direct medical helicopters as they tried to land, even if it meant getting whitewashed by snow, pelted with gravel or covered in dust.
Goodfellow said Gregory was a talker, and when he called one of them into his office for a chat, "we never knew when we would come out."
Sometimes the conversations ran so long the men and women would have another firefighter page them to get them back out.
Goodfellow took the opportunity to thank Meledie for the sacrifices she had to make in order for her husband to help his colleagues and the public.
"Larry always thanked the wives for letting all of us come to the calls, and how it tore up our family," he said.
Following the services, pallbearers laid Gregory's casket atop a firetruck draped in a black shroud, and more than two dozen fire engines and police vehicles escorted Gregory to the cemetery.
"His body finally gave way, but his huge heart never failed," Goodfellow said.
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Thread: Farmington Fire Chief Passes
10-01-2010, 03:01 PM #1
Farmington Fire Chief PassesFront line since 1983 and still going strong
11-15-2010, 02:08 AM #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
- North Texas
God Speed Chief*Always leave the job a little better for the next guy*
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