Former Ludowici and Long County Fire Chief Richard Truman was laid to rest in the town he served Sept. 17.
Truman died Sept. 14 at his Ludowici residence under hospice care. Truman had been a member of the fire department since 2008 and was promoted and hired as the fire chief in 2013. He medically retired in 2015.
Truman’s funeral was at First Baptist Church of Ludowici and his burial followed at Baggs Cemetery. He received full firefighter honors with an honor guard presiding.
With family, friends and more than 100 fellow firefighters and public safety workers from all over the state on hand, the Rev. Eric Rentz welcomed all and expressed condolences. Rentz also recognized the firefighters and public safety workers in the church and thanked them for the service.
Firefighter and friend Randy Combs then spoke.
"Richard loved his family dearly. All he wanted was for Brenda to be taken care of, he loved Ms. Kim and Pop; you always knew what his true love was, his family and the fire service," Combs said. "He loved his firefighters. If we had a member fall on hard times or have medical issues, even personal problems, Richard would call all the members and we would pass the hat, or we would go roof their house, or often times he would just spend time listening to their problems."
Combs also talked about Truman’s love for Long County and its residents.
"Richard truly cared about the residents of our county. He didn’t just show up to your home, mitigate your issue and leave. His desire was to develop a relationship with you; he didn’t meet a stranger," Combs said.
After the service, firefighters and public safety workers lined the hall of the church as his casket was placed in the back of a fire truck for his last ride. At the graveside, all who were present heard a dispatcher come across the radio requesting that Truman answer the call. After repeating the request several times, the dispatcher acknowledged that Truman could not respond. The dispatcher then said Truman had served his community with honor and dignity.
The service concluded with current Fire Chief Chris Moss presenting a firefighter’s flag that had been draped on Truman’s casket, to his wife.
Truman is survived by his wife, Brenda Kay Truman; son, Robert Sauls; mother and stepfather, Kum Sun and Gary Varner; sisters, Judy Cooper and Sandra Eskridge; and brother, Randy Truman Sr.