WEATHERFORD (CBSDFW.COM) – Friends and loved ones gathered today to say goodbye to the Weatherford firefighter who died in the line of duty while battling wildfires in West Texas.
Funeral services for Richard “Andy” Loller Jr. were held this morning. Bagpipers led a walking funeral procession to North Side Baptist Church. Hundreds of people followed behind the musicians and the fire engine carrying Loller’s casket on top.
Loller was one of two firefighters from Weatherford deployed to the Scenic Loop Complex fires as part of a state strike team. He was with a crew fighting a fire in the Davis Mountains when he suffered some type of “medical emergency”.
The firefighter had been flown by helicopter off the mountain and to a local hospital. He was stabilized and was being flown by medical airplane to a hospital in Odessa, but died en route. His body was brought home earlier this week — hundreds of EMS workers, police officers, and firefighters lined the route.
More than a thousand people came to Weatherford to pay their respects to Loller, a career fireman who began his career with the Hudson Oaks Fire Department. He had been with the Weatherford Fire Department for four years and was assigned to Station 36 on the A-Shift.
The funeral was held at the North Side Baptist Church. Parker County Fire Marshal Kurt Harris officiated the service.
Weatherford Assistant Fire Chief Johnathan Peacock said, “He loved the fire service and he always gave it his all. He will be sorely missed.”
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in honor of Loller.
Richard “Andy” Loller Jr. was 42-years-old and leaves behind a wife and two children.