OTSEGO, Mich. – A somber salute to a local fire captain who died while helping with hurricane Sandy relief was laid to rest Wednesday.
It was a somber day as people lined the streets Wednesday to pay their respects to Otsego Fire Capt. Steven Stevenson. An antique fire truck carried Stevenson’s casket as bells rang. The casket stopped in front of the Otsego Fire Station, while firemen stood at salute for their captain.
Stevenson, 52, died on Dec. 2 of an aortic aneurysm. He was helping out with hurricane Sandy relief at the time.
Otsego Fire Chaplain Tim Secord gave the eulogy and started it out in a way that Stevenson would appreciate.
“Dearly beloved we are gathered here today…I see right now, I see some of you fidgeting and that would be just like Steve to mix up a funeral with a wedding.” Secord said.
Emergency personnel lined a one mile stretch that lead to St. Margaret Catholic Church. Otsego Fire Chaplain, Tim Secord said that Stevenson always said he wanted a party instead of a funeral.
“A guy who loved to have a good time, loved to laugh, who loved life, he was a practical joker a big part of how we all remember Steve, his smile, his laugh, his sense of humor.” Secord added.
Secord remembered Stevenson as the type of guy who would dress up like Santa Claus one minute and turn into a tough guy the next.
Another Otsego Fire Captain describes the Stevenson he knew.
“He’s a friend, a mentor, a teacher and to boot I’ve known Steve my entire life,” Otsego Fire Capt. Brandon Weber said. “In fact, his family and my family lived next to each other for many years, so it was actually Steve that got me into the EMS and fire service.”
Weber said it’s too soon for the department to even consider replacing Capt. Stevenson.
“As always, what happens in times like this, the department comes together as a family, much as we are and everybody is there for one another.” Weber added.