04/23/14 642 W - + 5 - 6 This Year's Additions to the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial

Eleven firefighters who died in the line of duty will be added to the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial on Saturday, May 3. The ninth annual service will be held at the memorial, which is located in Nash Square in downtown Raleigh. The ceremony starts at 1:00 p.m., and is preceded by a parade at 10:00 a.m. Read event information.

This year's inductees include four legacy names from 1955 to 1970. Here are details on each of them, with information from both the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation and my own research. See my database, which lists 271 fallen firefighters and includes such supporting documents as death certificates through the 1970s. Reader corrections or additions are welcome.  

Name, Age, Title/Rank Death Dept, County, Status Cause, Narrative R/G Notes

James Anton (?) Kennedy

Age: 32

Title: Tractor Operator

3/2/55 NCDFR Died in a tractor accident while fighting fire on Route 1 in Cove City in Craven County. He was killed instantly. The accident occurred at 4:30 p.m. WM Buried 3/4/55 in Trenton.

Born 11/6/22

Thomas Elijah Begley

Age: 55

Title: Forest Ranger

12/21/58 NCDFR Died of a heart attack, after complaining of feeling ill while directing crews fighting a small blaze in/near Asheville. He walked away, and sat on a bank to rest, where he suffered a heart attack. WM Buried 12/23/53 at West Memorial Park, Weaverville.

Born 5/18/03.

John Herbert Cross

Age: 52


7/24/61 Salisbury,
Rowan Co.

Died of a heart attack. Death certificate noted the interval between onset and death was "sudden." Time of death was 10:05 p.m. WM Buried 7/27/61 at Chestnut Hill cemetery in Salisbury.

Born 5/6/09.

Joseph Morris Hicks

Age: 59


11/7/70 Henderson,
Vance Co.

Died after pistol fell from his pocket and discharged at fire station, during period of civil unrest. Pronounced dead at Duke Hospital in Durham. WM Buried 11/9/70 at Sunset Gardens, Henderson.

Born 10/28/11.

Scott A Morrison

Age: 44

Fire Chief

3/3/13 Knotts Island,
Dare Co.
Died after collapsing from an apparent heart attack while operating at the scene of a brush fire. He was treated by fellow responders, and was pronounced dead at the hospital.  WM  

Sarah E Stonesifer

Age: 22


3/29/13 Pine View,
Hoke Co.

Died in a single-vehicle crash on Stubby Oaks Road south of Raeford, when her vehicle ran off the road, struck a fence post, and flipped. She was returning to the Pinehill fire station to eat dinner with the crew. WF Buried 4/2/13 at Bethesda Cemetery in Aberdeen.

Born 9/11/90.

Tony Barker

Age: 36

Rank: ?

6/13/13 Mountain View,
Wilkes Co.
Died after being electrocuted, at the scene of a fire in a small structure ignited by part of a tree across a power line. He was less than three feet from the structure when he collapsed, the electricity likely conducted through the building and the unpaved ground, which was saturated with rainwater. Pronounced dead at Wilkes Regional Medical Center. WM Buried 6/17/13 at Dehart Baptist Church Cemetery.

Born 12/14/76.
David A Heath

Age: 48

10/14/13 New Hanover,
New Hanover Co.

Died of a heart attack, after collapsing while participating in a training exercise.  WM Born 9/14/1965.
David Brophy

Age 41

12/15/13 Parkton,
Robeson Co.

Died at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, after becoming ill at his home, after having answered a call. WM Buried (?) 12/23/13.
Jon Francis Schondelmayer

Age 44

12/18/13 Swift Creek,
Wake Co.

Died after being found unresponsive at his home, after feeling ill at the fire station, and going home to get some medicine with the intention of returning to the fire station. WM Cremated 12/23/13 at Brown Wynn Funeral Home, Raleigh.
Also Career FF, Captain, Cary FD.
Born 3/28/69.
Jeffrey "Jeff" Lee Fields

Age 51

Asst. Chief
12/25/13 Youngsville,
Franklin Co.

Died of a heart attack, after heart surgery following a heart attack on December 12, which within twenty-four hours of responding to a fire call. WM Buried (?) 12/28/13.
Occupation Warehouse Manager.

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