Denny Grant, a true Mason County hero; PM Fire Dept. mourns loss of its assistant chief.

May 23, 2016
Photo of Dennis Grant by Rosann Cook.

Photo of Dennis Grant by Rosann Cook.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — Members of the Pere Marquette Township Fire Department were mourning the loss of one of their brothers tonight. Dennis “Denny” Grant, died this afternoon, a day after he was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in Logan Township.

Denny joined the on-call department in 1986 and worked his way up the ranks. He was currently serving as assistant chief.

“I met Denny when he joined the department,” said Dan Marek, the department’s captain. “He was just an outstanding person. Always positive and always smiling. Denny also wasn’t afraid to dig in and work. When he became an officer we couldn’t get him to stop putting on an airpack and going into the fire when he should have been outside performing his duties as an officer. That’s just the type of person he was. It was his nature to just get in there and get the job done.

Denny was severely injured about eight to 10 years ago when directing traffic at a crash scene on the US 31 expressway. “That crash could have meant the end of his firefighting career and no one would have blamed him if he had called it quits,” Marek said. “But, not Denny. He recovered and kept on serving.”

Denny was a true Mason County hero, right to the very end, donating his organs to others, Marek said.

Denny and his wife Peg, 62, were traveling south on Walhalla Road about 5 p.m. Sunday and entered the curve onto eastbound Kinney Road. Cole said Denny waved at another motorcycle, which was heading north onto Walhalla Road and then suddenly lost control of the bike. Both Denny and Peg were wearing their helmets.

Denny was critically injured. Several bystanders assisted in attempting to revive him prior to the arrival of first responders, Cole said. He was transported from the scene by Northflight Aeromed helicopter to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. Peg received minor injuries and was transported to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital where she was treated and released.

“As a first responder — especially in a small town — you always know that at some point in time you will respond on one of your own,” Marek said. “We are grateful to our fellow emergency responders from Branch Fire Department, Carr Area Fire Department, Life EMS, Aeromed and the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, who tended to Denny and to Peg.”

“I have lost a lot of people in my life but none as special as this father like figure in my life,” said firefighter Rosann Cook. “He and Peg have been there for me, hard times good times. Denny has given me his chest and arm to cry on when I needed and a smile and hug when times were good. He was my mentor on the fire department and the one I trusted more than anyone. He will be missed.”

Denny worked for Great Lakes Castings and was scheduled to retire in January 2017, Marek said. “He talked about spending his winters with Peg in Florida.”

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