WA grandmother remembers firefighter lost in AZ fire

WA grandmother remembers firefighter lost in AZ fire

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by KGW reporter Katherine Cook

Bio | Email | Follow: @KCookKGW

kgw.com

Posted on July 3, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 3 at 9:24 PM

CASTLE ROCK, Wash.-- Jan Johnson is mourning the loss of her grandson, 22-year-old Wade Parker, a casualty of the Yarnell Hill Fire, near Prescott, Ariz.

She said Parker was fulfilling his dream of becoming a firefighter with the Granite Mountain Hot Shots.

"I'm sad, but so proud," said Johnson. "He was doing what he absolutely loved."

Parker was following in his father's footsteps. Dan Parker is a member of the Chino Valley Fire Department, near Prescott.

On Tuesday, Parker and his wife Michelle attended a massive vigil for all nineteen-fire fighters killed in the fire.

"(Wade) was a wonderful son and he's with Jesus, now," said Michelle Parker.

Johnson said her family's Christian faith is what's carrying them through their loss, and what Parker lived his life by.

"He's going to Heaven," said Johnson. "He's already there. He knew Jesus and now he's talking to him face to face, and I get to see him when I die."

Johnson said Parker played baseball, the guitar and was a youth leader at his church. He was also engaged to be married, October 19.

"I was going to go to that wedding," said Johnson. "I don't know what I'm going to do now."

Johnson said she'll never forget what a selfless person Parker was.

She was recording some of her favorite memories of him in her journal, hoping one day, someone would read them.

"When (Wade) was little, he once spent his own birthday money to buy a friend a pair of shoes," she said. "He was always giving to others."

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