TUALATIN -- More than 40 bagpipe and drum players were among the hundreds of firefighters from all corners of Oregon who honored John Percin, Jr. on Saturday. The service was held at the Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin.
At 24, John Percin Jr. was living his dream as an elite wildland firefighter when he and 18 of his brothers died on June 30 fighting an Arizona wildfire, the deadliest in 80 years.
I spoke with the Prescott, Arizona command staff and they said John was one of the most reliable firefighter that they could count on, said Rock Hanes the President of the International Association of Firefighters Local 1660.
He spent most of his free time lending help to neighbors, friends and family, said Chaplain Chuck Boman. It someone needed something John was always the first one there.
It's been a long week of services for the Percin family. On Tuesday in Arizona, Vice President Joe Biden and Senator John McCain were among the thousands who paid their respects for the 19 fallen firefighters.
On Thursday, Percin's ashes were flown to PDX where it was met by truck ladders, engines and countless firefighters. In Grand fashion they carried him 20 miles to the Lake Oswego fire station where his ashes rested under constant vigil until his funeral.
It has been said that firefighters never die, they just burn forever in the hearts of the people whose lives and property they have saved, said John Nohr, the past President of the Oregon Fire chief's Association.
John Percin's legacy will live on with family, friends and firefighters in both Oregon and Arizona.