THAYER – Despite rain Saturday morning, family, friends and fellow emergency responders gathered in Thayer city park to share tears, laughs and memories of former volunteer fire chief Larry Myers.
Myers, 82, died June 16 and the Neosho County dispatcher called a “last page” at the end of the observance Saturday. Emergency vehicles surrounded the park and friends displayed a sign that will be installed at the Thayer fire station, which will be dedicated to him.
Participants were invited up to the band shell stage to share stories about Myers’ life, including his coaching, his warnings about approaching severe weather, and the lone time he missed a fire call because he was at his son’s football game.
On display at the event was a 1919 Model T fire truck that Myers helped return to Thayer.
The city originally purchased the truck new and it was later used by other fire departments. Myers brought it back from an auction in Ottawa, and the family story is that the chugging motor was the truck’s way of saying “I’m goin’ home, I’m goin’ home, I’m goin’ home.”
The truck was later displayed by an insurance company that donated it back to the city. Memorials are being collected for a display building.