The City of McMechen is mourning the loss of retired Fire Chief John Eikleberry, Jr. who served as a member of the McMechen Volunteer Fire Department for more than 40 years.
Eikleberry passed away on Wednesday, April 4 at the age of 56.
Eikleberry served as Chief of the McMechen Volunteer Fire Department from 1994 to 2007.
But his former Chief John Jura says Eikleberry’s first real passion was in emergency services.
“He was one of our first paramedics here in McMechen. He was also a very good firefighter, very active, and he knew what he was doing. He really helped with emergency services here in town, and I’m proud of that,” said Jura.
The flags at the VFD are flying at half-staff, and black ribbon surrounds the garage door as a nod to the work John did as a paramedic and firefighter, positively impacting the lives of countless people and the community as a whole.
“He was always there, never critical but always willing to give you the constructive criticism that you needed to become better. That was his whole goal, to make everybody better so that the department itself was providing the best service possible to the community,” said current Chief Jeff Kady.
Eikleberry will be remembered by his fellow firefighters, paramedics, family members, friends, and neighbors as selfless and brave.
“I was just talking with some people about if it was even possible to calculate how many lives he touched,” said Kady.
A Fire Department Memorial Service were held Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. at Altmeyer Funeral Home in McMechen.
Funeral services will be held Monday at 11:00 a.m., also at Altmeyer Funeral Home.
Ladder trucks will wait to receive the funeral procession in Greenwood Cemetery along National Road.