In Memory of Bryan Kelly

   I’ll never forget the first time I met Bryan. I was seven years old and the new kid on the block. Bryan was skateboarding down the sidewalk. Even then, he was tall and skinny. For those of you who know Bryan when he was little, you know that he constantly had a runny nose. That day was no different. He was also sporting a Mohawk, thanks to his brother David. That day Bryan instantly became my friend. That’s the way Bryan was. He was always trying to help people out and make them feel at home.

   When we were little, we would dress up in snowsuits and use the garden hoses to pretend to be firefighters. The picnic table was our engine and the trees were the houses. Our parents wondered why the trees and grass grew so well in the backyards. I can tell you now that if you put as much water as we did on it, anything will grow. When we got a little older, we joked that it was a good thing we didn’t have jobs back then, because we would have paid some pretty hefty water bills.

   After graduating from high school, Bryan joined fire District #4. He also moved in with my family and me. It was only half a block away, but to him it was a pretty big move. Bryan would never go on fire calls without me. So at night, when our pagers would go off, Bryan would lay and listen to hear if I was getting my clothes on and then he would get up. After I realized this, I thought it would be funny to try and leave him. So I would get out of bed and get dressed so he didn’t hear me. Then I would open my door and run through the house and out to my car. It wasn’t uncommon to see Bryan chasing after me with pants in one hand and a shirt in the other hand. I never really left him but I will never forget how funny it was to see him running half-naked down the street.

 

   Bryan’s career choice was a playful battle between his father, Pat and I. Pat was a police officer with the city and had dreams of Bryan following his footsteps. I was constantly trying to persuade him to be a firefighter with me. Regardless of what he chose, we knew that Bryan would excel. And that is exactly what he did in the Marine Corp.

   After 9-11, Bryan joined the Marines. I was both proud and sad. I would be losing my best friend and fellow firefighter for four years. But that is what Bryan felt he had to do. So I supported him because he had always supported me. He always told me that when he was done with his duty, he would come home and fight fires alongside me again. Even though he may not be there physically, Bryan’s spirit will be there for me, watching my back, just like we have grown up doing. I thank God for that, and for the opportunity to have Bryan as my best friend. Men like Bryan do not come along every day, and I am thankful that he chose me as his best friend.

   Captain Mark Shae
   Klamath County Fire District #4
   July 28th, 2004
In memory of Lt. Bill Chambers
    
In Memory Of Those Who Dedicated Their Time and Service To Klamath County Fire District 4

 

H.H. McCann - Chief - 1988 George McKinny - Captain - 1993
Lyle Mahan - Chief - 1999 LCPL Bryan Kelly - Vol. Fireman - 2004
Frank Snyder - Asst. Chief - 1991 Justin George - Chief Dist 1 - 1998
Myra Snyder - District Secretary - 2003 Rodney Mathers - Chief - 2005
John Bunker - FF/EMT - 2010