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Community pays last tribute to former McMechen Fire Chief


On Monday, family, friends and the community of McMechen said their final goodbyes to retired Fire Chief John Eikleberry.

Eikleberry served as a member of the McMechen Volunteer Fire Department for more than 40 years, including chief from 1994 to 2007.

Eikleberry passed away on Wednesday, April 4 at the age of 56.

To honor his legacy, flags at the V-F-D were flown at half-staff and black ribbon was hung around the Fire Department’s garage door.

Ladder trucks holding an American flag also waited along National Road in Wheeling to receive the funeral procession in Greenwood Cemetery.

Long-time friend and fellow firefighter George Kolas told 7News he felt emotional looking at the flag.

He said Eikleberry was someone you could always count on.

“He was always there. His wife says he would always get right out of bed in the middle of the night to go out on a call, which he was. He very seldom missed one unless he was working,” said Kolas, Assistant Chief at the Benwood Fire Deptartment. 

Kolas added that every step taken today paid homage to the work John did as a paramedic and firefighter, positively impacting the community as a whole.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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