Lewes Firefighter Tim McClanahan Honored at Emotional Funeral - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lewes Firefighter Tim McClanahan Honored at Emotional Funeral

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After the funeral service, McClanahan’s body was carried to a Lewes Fire Truck (Source: Evan Koslof) After the funeral service, McClanahan’s body was carried to a Lewes Fire Truck (Source: Evan Koslof)
Hundreds of firefighters came out to honor the life of Tim McClanahan (Source: Evan Koslof) Hundreds of firefighters came out to honor the life of Tim McClanahan (Source: Evan Koslof)
Two of McClanahan’s brothers, a longtime friend, and his son spoke at the funeral service (Source: Evan Koslof) Two of McClanahan’s brothers, a longtime friend, and his son spoke at the funeral service (Source: Evan Koslof)
In front of the Lewes Fire Hall, McClanahan’s children were handed an American flag and his firefighter helmet (Source: WBOC) In front of the Lewes Fire Hall, McClanahan’s children were handed an American flag and his firefighter helmet (Source: WBOC)

LEWES, Del. — Hundreds gathered in Lewes on Sunday in order to honor the life of 46-year-old Tim McClanahan. His funeral, which was held at Cape Henlopen High School, was immediately followed by an emotional ceremony outside of the Lewes Fire Hall. 

McClanahan, who was a volunteer firefighter in Lewes, died on Monday, July 11, after he fell from a Delaware State Police helicopter during a training exercise in Georgetown. The funeral service follows an emotional procession on Wednesday where nearly 100 trucks from across the state escorted McClanahan's body from the Medical Examiner's office in Wilmington to Lewes.

At Sunday's funeral service, McClanahan’s brother Brian said Tim’s legacy would be that of community service and giving back. 

"This is a lesson for everyone,” he said. "No matter what cause you support, who you vote for, or how you think. Tim knew he couldn’t change the world. So he changed Lewes. He changed Milton. He changed Rehoboth. He changed Sussex County. And he changed Delaware.” 

McClanahan’s son Brenden also spoke at the service, choosing to recite a poem. 

"I cry about the last time I said goodbye to you,” he said. "More than oceans separate us. More than continents themselves. But in my heart you will remain along with everything you taught me.” 

When the funeral ended, firefighters from across the state lined the parking lot, as McClanahan’s body was carried to a Lewes Fire truck. The trucks then lead a procession to the Lewes Fire Hall on Savannah Road. 

In front of the fire hall, the department sounded the fire siren in a ceremonious dedication to McClanahan. The American flag, which draped McClanahan’s casket, was also folded up and handed to his son, while his fire helmet was handed to his daughter. 

Long-time friend Ted Robertson had a message for McClanahan’s children. 

"Be proud of your father,” he said. "It’s OK to be sad, angry. To question. But be proud. Your dad loved what he was doing. And always ended up doing what he loved. No matter what was in front of him.” 

McClanahan served the Lewes Fire Department for approximately 15 years. Before that he spent time with the Milton and Rehoboth Beach Fire Departments. McClanahan was also a member of the Delaware Air Rescue Team, which was a passion of his. 

Glenn Marshall, from the Lewes Fire Department said that it was emotional losing someone like Tim. 

"Tim was a very outgoing and energetic young man,” he said. “And I say a young man, because we lost him at a very young age. He always wanted to have some fun. But when it comes to training, he was very serious and methodical."

A private burial has been scheduled for a later date in Sussex County.

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