SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – This weekend, friends of a Chancellor Fire Chief will get the chance to celebrate his life.
52-year-old Jeb Ford died in a car crash in early February. A funeral was held for him in his hometown of Lemmon, South Dakota, shortly after.
Jeb Ford spent over 20 years fighting fires in both the Sioux Falls and Chancellor areas. He also worked with the Parker ambulance. Having done so much emergency service work in southeast South Dakota, his daughter and the Chancellor Fire Department wanted to give everyone in that area a chance to celebrate his life.
Shortly after Jeb Ford’s death, his father and sister said his memory will live on through the lives of those he touched and saved along the way.
“But he didn’t waste his life. He did things with his life, and he helped people and you have to be proud of him for that and be proud of what he did,” Ron Ford, Jeb’s dad said on Feb. 9
Now, everyone who knew him as Fire Chief 1 and retired firefighter 157 will get the chance to share their memories of him.
“Jeb was a storyteller, a lot of firefighters are. So, anybody is welcome to come by and visit with people and just remember Jeb. And get an opportunity to see his daughter and talk to her and express condolences,” Grant Van Riesen, Chancellor Fire Captain, said
Some of the Chancellor and Sioux Falls firefighters were able to make the trip to Lemmon, South Dakota, for Ford’s visitation and funeral, but Van Riesen says this event will give even more people the chance to celebrate Ford’s life.
“For some people, maybe it will be some closure,” Van Riesen said. “Other people, it’s just a good way to get together and talk to other first responders or emergency personnel and just be able to show our support towards Cassidy during this time as well.”
Cassidy Ford is Jeb’s daughter, who his sister says was Jeb’s greatest accomplishment.
“He loved that, loved being a dad, probably the proudest to be the wonderful father he was,” Kristi Cox, Jeb’s father said on Feb. 9.
Van Riesen expects there will be many emergency service members from various towns in attendance.
“He knew everybody, especially in the emergency services so this is going to be a great opportunity for just people to come around and tell Jeb’s stories,” Van Riesen said.
Jeb Ford’s Celebration of Life will start Saturday night at 6 at the Chancellor Fire Station.