West firefighter given memorial

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Elissa Thompson/ The Bells

A sea of blue flooded St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Assumption in West, Texas, April 24 for the funeral of Dallas fireman, Captain Kenneth “Luckey” Harris. Harris, 52, of West, died during the fertilizer plant explosion, April 17.

Over 1000 people attended the funeral with more than half of the attendees Dallas firefighters, wearing their dress uniforms, to pay their respect to the fallen captain.

Harris is survived by his wife of 28 years, Holly and three sons, Jud, Jarrod, and Heath. Harris loved offshore fishing with his sons and spending time on his boat, “Boots Up.” He also enjoyed hunting, traveling and spending time with friends.

Harris graduated from the Dallas Fire Academy in 1982 and served as a firefighter with the Dallas Fire Department for more than 31 years, attaining the rank of captain. As well as working for the fire department, he owned Harris Home Inspections and Construction with his family. Harris also served as a volunteer firefighter for the West Volunteer Fire Department.

Several Dallas firefighters participated in the honor guard, which is when the firefighters stand guard over the body till the funeral, alternating every 15 minutes.

Captain Bruce Thompson served in the honor guard the morning of the funeral beginning at 6 a.m. He had served on the honor guard before, but not in this kind of setting.

“I took it seriously. I made sure I was always there and volunteered anytime I could,” Thompson said.

The service was a solemn one, as friends, family and co-workers all remembered the life of Harris and the sacrifice he gave for his town.

After the service, the firefighters lined up outside as the casket was brought out and placed on the back of the fire truck from Harris’ station. Dallas Firefighters Pipe and Drums were playing as the large crowd looked on.

“I expected the large crowd. I would’ve been highly disappointed if there hadn’t been that many there,” Thompson said.

Elissa Thompson/ The Bells

Elissa Thompson/ The Bells

A long line of vehicles, which included motorcyclists from the Wind and Fire Dallas Motorcycle Club, followed the fire truck out to Bold Springs Cemetery in West to lay Harris to rest.

A memorial service was held at Baylor University in Waco for the other victims, Thursday, April 25.

Author: Elissa Thompson

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