Fort Lauderdale said goodbye to hero, father, husband, and firefighter, Kevin Johns this week. Johns, a 28-year veteran of the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department received an honored farewell as his funeral procession made its way to The Sanctuary Church located just off of Federal Highway.
Firefighter Johns was pulled off to the side of I-95 with a flat tire when he was struck by a vehicle that was trying to avoid an accident with another vehicle. The driver of that vehicle, Lorenza Simmons, immediately exited her vehicle, called 911, and stayed with Johns until help could arrive. Johns passed away at hospital several hours later.
The procession, led by two firetrucks hoisting an American flag high in the air between them, was followed by Johns’ family, friends, fellow firefighters, and a bagpipe and drum corps. During the ceremony at the church, Johns was remembered and eulogized by mayor Jack Seiler who told those in attendance, “We are so proud and so blessed that Kevin had our back, day in and day out, and hundreds of thousands of citizens were never able to say ‘Thank you for having my back’.”
As noted in a local news story on the funeral, the hearse in Johns funeral procession was, in fact, empty. Johns and his family had decided ahead of time on cremation instead of a traditional burial. This decision, not uncommon in the state of Florida, is representative of a quickly growing trend toward cremation for one’s final disposition.
The impermanence of life is often lost on us until we are faced with a tragedy such as this. It is a reminder that our tomorrows are never promised. This is why taking the time to spell out your end-of-life plans goes a long way in providing your family with peace of mind if and when they need it most. Preplanning your Fort Lauderdale cremation is both easy and painless and takes all of the guesswork from your family who would be left to decide what your end-of-life wishes might have been.
The city of Fort Lauderdale was better for the service of Kevin Johns over his career as a firefighter for the city. Last week, the city came together to honor his life and his service.