Okolona firefighter who died from cancer laid to rest Wednesday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Okolona firefighter who died from cancer laid to rest Wednesday

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hundreds of people packed St. Paul's Catholic Church in Pleasure Ridge Park on Wednesday for the funeral of Sgt. Jeff Kampschaefer.

The 37-year-old Okolona firefighter was diagnosed a month ago with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and died just three weeks later. Kampschaefer's death from cancer is currently being ruled as a line-of-duty death. If that is made official, he will be only the third Jefferson County firefighter whose death from cancer meets line-of-duty death requirements.

Kampschaefer was a full-time firefighter and EMT for the Okolona Fire Department, a part-time firefighter for the Camp Taylor Fire Department and a volunteer firefighter for Lake Dreamland. He also served briefly with the Anchorage and Louisville Airport Fire Departments.

His friends and fellow Okolona firefighters, like Frankie Nalley, said he was a family man and could light up any room he walked into. 

"He'll be missed. I mean, he could walk into a room and make everybody smile," Nalley said. "That'll be the thing that's missed the most about him, at least from me."

Kampschaefer received full Graveside Firefighter honors, including bag pipes, the traditional "Last Call", playing of "TAPS", presentation of the U.S. flag and presentations of Kampschaefer's helmet and badge to his family.

Following the funeral, his casket was put in an Okolona firetruck and taken to his final resting place at Calvary Cemetery. At the cemetery, his family, friends and fellow firefighters gathered around to hear his "Final Call."

Kampschaefer leaves behind his wife of nine years, Sarah, and two young children, Payton and Aiden.

"I noticed three huge passions in Jeff's life: being the best firefighter, husband and daddy he could be," Lake Dreamland Fire Chief Freddie George said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family, and it has raised more than $2,500. 

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