Saying goodbye to one of Oceana’s bravest

November 18, 2012

A firefighter holds John Sayles' helmet before it is placed on the coffin

WEARE TWP. (Oceana Co.) — Dozens of local emergency services personnel paid tribute to Capt. John Thomas Sayles of the Pentwater Fire Dept. Sunday afternoon. The 38-year-old died Wednesday, Nov. 14, as a result of an aortic aneurysm. He is survived by his wife, Melanie, and their three daughters Mercedy, Marissa and Mandi.

The Ludington Fire Dept. aerial truck towers over the funeral procession at the intersection of Oceana Dr. and Jefferson Rd.

John was a captain and medical first responder on the Pentwater Fire Department. He was also a 4-H leader, a member of the Western Michigan Old Engine Club and a soccer and basketball coach. He attended Lighthouse Lutheran Church and was employed by the Pentwater Village Department of Public Works and the Aerts Farm. He earned his Associate’s Degree from West Shore Community College.

Jim Carlson of Hart Fire Dept. salutes. Carlson served as sergeant at arms for the firing squad.

Following funeral services at Pentwater High School, several emergency vehicles led the funeral procession to the North Weare Township Cemetery where a graveside service included a gun salute and taps. Mason-Oceana 911 sent out an department page in honor of Sayles. Fire departments were represented from Manistee to Muskegon with several from Oceana and Mason counties.

Story and photos by Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

Video by Becky Alway, Alway Photography

Pentwater firefighters salute

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Pentwater firefighters shoot rifles in honor of Sayles

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