Members of the New Caney Volunteer Fire Department will say goodbye today to a man who dedicated his life to helping people in his community.
"Behind his business and his family, this department was his life," New Caney Fire Chief Bob Yancy said of Assistant Chief Charles Flowers Sr.
Flowers, 61, a 26-year veteran of the department, died in his sleep Monday.
On Nov. 19, Flowers responded to a rescue call to free a person pinned in a vehicle following a traffic accident.
"Charlie's favorite thing was the rescue training involving JAWS calls, which a lot of people call pin-ins these days," Yancy said. "He loved doing that most."
Yancy responded to the same call and was working alongside his good friend when Flowers suddenly collapsed because of a heart attack.
He was transported to the hospital and treated. He was released Dec. 17 to finish his rehabilitation at home.
Yancy got the call Monday morning that his fellow firefighter and close friend had died in his sleep. In his 26 years with the department, Flowers had served as chief, captain and now assistant chief.
"He was well respected not only in our department, but throughout the county," Yancy said. "He was our representative to the Montgomery County Fire Chief's Association, and he earned a lot of respect throughout the county."
Prior to the formation of emergency service districts as taxing entities, volunteer fire departments were dependent on fund-raisers to purchase equipment and other necessary items.
"(Flowers) was very instrumental in the success of the fire department the way we know it today," Yancy said.
Funeral services for Flowers will start at 2 p.m. today at the Rosewood Funeral Home on U.S. 59 North near Community Drive. Flowers will be laid to rest with full firefighter honors. The Rev. George Elledge and the Rev. Skip Straus will officiate.
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Betty S. Flowers; son and daughter-in-law Charles F. Flowers Jr. and Angelique; daughter and son-in-law Gay Lynn and Eddie James; daughter Benita L. Flowers; and numerous grandchildren great-grandchildren and other family members.