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Families and communities mourning deaths of three Oklahoma firefighters over the weekend
By Adria Goins/KFOR,
NORMAN, Okla. ( KFOR ) – Three Oklahoma firefighters died over the weekend. The Oklahoma State Firefighters Association raised its memorial flag Monday in honor of the men who have helped keep three communities safe for many years.
Long-time Norman firefighter, Levi Wilkins, died Friday after a fall during a rock-climbing incident near Narrows Trail in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. He was pulled from the area by rescue crews late that night.
Wilkins had picked up rock-climbing after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2019. He fell in love with the sport.
The Norman Fire Department said in a Facebook post said Wilkins “lived life to the fullest every day.”
Norman’s Mayor Larry Heikkila issued this statement Monday about the loss of Wilkins:
We send our prayers and deepest condolences to the loved ones of Levi Wilkins and the entire Norman Fire Department. Grief is a difficult process that takes time for us to work through. It takes time to heal and fully return to our lives. I will walk with you. Levi served on the Norman Fire Department since January 2012. He was a man of faith, a husband, a father, and a son who loved adventure. Wilkins was an exemplary leader, a true hero for our city, and saving lives was the job he loved. As Mayor, I assure you our city will honor him and his family for their sacrifices and the service he provided to the City of Norman and its citizens. Levi’s legacy will be carried on.
Larry Heikkila, City of Norman Mayor
Atlus Fire Chief, Greg Cross, died Saturday after a six-week battle with cancer.
The department told News 4 it was unexpected because he died so quickly after receiving the news.
Visitation for Cross will be Wednesday, September 27 at Lowell-Tims Funeral Home in Altus from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, September 28 at First Baptist Church of Altus.
Loyal Fire Captain, Warren Stallard, died Saturday while coming back to Oklahoma from Texas following chemotherapy at MD Anderson. His daughter said he went into cardiac arrest while his wife was driving him home. He was revived at a hospital but put on ventilators and later died.
“I thought I had longer with him. We all did,” said Jennifer Stallard, Warren’s daughter.
Stallard was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in June.
“He loved the fire department very much,” said Jennifer. “He would drop anything to make sure he could go on a fire call. It was his favorite thing to do. He loved it very much.”
Stallard was a father to six daughters, three of which were able to be there as they said goodbye on Saturday.
He had spent nearly 20 years with the volunteer department.
Scott Russell is the assistant chief at Loyal Fire Department and a close friend of Stallards. He said his absence will greatly impact the community.
“It’s a big loss, a very big loss,” said Russell. “He was the guy, one of the ones, we could always count on to show up, do what he needed to do, and you know he was just that guy.”
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