Local News

March 31, 2006

Remembering a fallen firefighter

CHICKASHA — They came from down the road, around the state and across the country.

As many as 3,000 people flocked to the various churches in town who were broadcasting the service for fallen firefighter Destry Horton via satellite hookup on Thursday. They came to bid farewell.

The funeral was held at Grand Assembly of God where Horton served as worship leader. His family, fellow firefighters and emergency services workers and state officials attended the service.

To accommodate the crowds who wanted to attend the funeral, four local churches volunteered their auditoriums. Trinity Baptist Church was filled with firefighters and emergency personnel. First Baptist Church, College Heights Baptist Church, and Epworth United Methodist Church were open to the public, all four churches broadcasted the service.

Horton, who died Friday from burns he suffered while battling a wildfire in Stephens County, one of hundreds that have scarred the Oklahoma landscape since November. Horton, 32, was volunteering for the Acme fire department and was with another firefighter when they entered a smoke-filled area near Duncan and their fire truck got stuck March 1.

His flag-draped casket was brought to the church by a Chickasha fire engine. His colleagues carefully lowered his coffin to the ground and walked in pairs behind it as it was wheeled into the auditorium.

He was remembered Thursday in words, images and music as a man of God, a loving husband and father and an all-around lively guy.

“Destry was so active all over his life that I looked around the house and could see all the things he needed to do and didn't get finished,” his widow, Brandy, said as those in the auditorium burst into laughter.

Brandy Horton spoke to the couple's two daughters, Kiley and McKenzie.

“Your daddy loves you so much. No matter what, I will always see your daddy in your laughter,” she said.

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