Losing a loved one is never easy, but having the support of family and friends does help a family deeply during this time.
When an entire community mourns your loss with you and shows such great support, it does make this time of sorrow easier to bear. The morning following my father's passing we met with the Almont Fire Department to help plan his last goodbye. That moment and the days to follow affirmed what my dad always knew—his department is top notch. The men and women of the department hugged us, cried with us and then spent the next three days doing anything imaginable to make a funeral worthy of my dad's memory. The departments' officers came together, worked as a team and made this terrible time as easy as possible for us.
My family never had to worry about anything but being where we were supposed to be, when we were supposed to be there. Words can not express the gratitude we feel for the men and women of the Almont Fire Department.
The number of other people that came together in our time of need was tremendous. Our list is lengthy and I offer my sincere apologies for any one person or group that has been forgotten.
We would like to thank Debbie Muir and the staff of Muir Brothers in Almont for their personal and professional care during our time of need. We sincerely thank John Resnik and Gerald Buck of Champion for their generous donation of their buses. We also thank Steve Zott and the Almont Community Schools for the use of the gym, buses and extra custodians. We are grateful to James Muxlow for not only the use of his tables and chairs, but also for all the hauling of them and the manpower he provided. We thank Paul Abromitis from Hideaway Lanes for the use of his field and Scott Garner for the plowing of it and the extra plowing he did at the cemetery and the fire hall. Thank you to Ryan Feys for providing many extra tables and chairs. Our thanks to the Lions Club, Almont Fire Department families and the rest of the community who made desserts.
We express our appreciation to the Mobile gas station, McDonald's and Montgomery and Sons for their generous donation of drinks for the luncheon. We thank Pat Creger, Bob and Debbie Mack and the Andrew Barette family (especially Aunt Theresa and Aunt Joanne) for providing all the food for family and firefighters at the funeral home. Thank you Lenny Miller for putting the luncheon together so quickly. Dan Shepard and Tom Depew blessed us with their musical talents. We thank the Lapeer County and Michigan State Fire Associations for everything they did to help.
Special thanks to Cliff and Sue Messning and Blaine Howell for being there for us and doing all the extras. We were blessed to have Cliff Thurlow's moving voice and John Kromer's message at the service. We owe thanks to the Lapeer County Road Commission and the Almont Police Department for making the procession route work. Many thanks to both Berlin and Brown City Fire Departments for the use of their lights. Special thanks to Chief Brian Phillips and the Berlin Township Fire Department for manning the hall. Also, many thanks to Bruce, Imlay, and Attica fire departments for providing additional standby at the hall. Finally we would like to extend an extra special thanks to Assistant Chief Richard Stine for being our number one go to guy!
Thank You Almont and all the firefighters who came out to honor our father. You will forever be in our hearts and prayers.
The family of Paul Wilcox, Almont area
January 28, 2009