North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Ceremony – May 13, 2023

On Saturday, May 13, 2023, the following names will be added to the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the annual ceremony in downtown Raleigh. See below for narratives and notes, about each member and how they died.  

  • Richard S. Aman – Piney Grove – 2021
  • Charles Barnett – Asheville – 1891 (not shown)
  • Perry Barnett – Asheville – 1891 (not shown)
  • Thurman C. Bishop – Fayetteville – 1983
  • Willie L. Bunch – Oak City – 2021
  • Gary G. Butner – Gumtree – 2022
  • Kenneth K. Cameron – Pocket – 2021
  • Michael D. Canada – Bear Grass – 2020
  • Arthur Duckett – Asheville – 1966
  • Gregory K. Faulk – Ocean Isle Beach – 2021
  • Samuel L. Gorman – Asheville – 1891 (not shown)
  • James D. Hensley – Brendletown – 2021
  • Keith Jones – Shiloh-Danieltown Oakland – 2021
  • June McNeil, Jr – Pine Terrace – 2022
  • James Radford – Polly Watson – 2022
  • Benjamin H. Smith – Edenton – 1947 (not shown)
  • Charles W. Spry – La Grange – 2021
  • William D. Stalls – Oak City – 2021
  • John R. Stroup – Salem – 2022
  • Clinton L. Whitley – Ferrells – 2021
  • Harry Williams – Asheville – 1944
  • Grady D. Wilson – Asheville – 1948


Narratives and Notes

Name Age Dept Date Notes
Richard Spicer Aman 80 Piney Grove (Sampson) 10/07/2021 Aman was a volunteer member of PGFD for 29 years and had served as Chief of Department for 20 years. 
Charles D. Barnett 24 Asheville 8/27/1891 Volunteer firefighters Charles Barnett, Perry Barnett, and Samuel Gorman were killed, when their passenger derailed just outside Asheville. They were returning from the state fireman’s convention in Durham. Three other AFD members were also aboard and were injured. Charles Barnett and Perry Barnett were brothers. 
Henry Perry “Perry” Barnett Jr. 27 Asheville 8/27/1891 See Charles Burnett.
Thurman C. Bishop 62 Fayetteville 04/10/1983 Bishop suffered a heart attack while exercising in front of Central Fire Station. He entered the department in 1947 and had served as Chief of Department for 20 years.
Willie Lee Bunch 58 Oak City (Martin) 08/16/2021 Lt. Bunch contracted COVID while on-duty at the fire department. He was a volunteer member.
Gary G Butner 55 Gumtree (Davidson) 02/26/2022 Died after battling COVID for several weeks. He had served as a firefighter for over 30 years. 
Kenneth “Ace” Kelly Cameron 65 Pocket (Lee) 12/09/2021 Cameron died from complications from an injury suffered at an incident on July 23, 2021. He entered the hospital on July 24 and never returned home. He was also President of the department. 
Michael David Canada 66 Bear Grass (Martin) 06/23/2020 Volunteer firefighter Canada responded with BGFD to an automatic fire alarm on June 13, 2020. The call concluded at approximately 6:30 p.m. At approximately 10:00 p.m., firefighters were called to Canada’s home for a medical emergency, where he was  suffering from a heart attack. Canada was treated and transported to the hospital. He never regained consciousness and died on June 23, 2020.  
Arthur W Duckett 63 Asheville 03/07/1966 Lt. Duckett died of a heart attack at Station 5, which was located at 10 Biltmore Plaza, after fighting a brush fire on Chapel Park Road. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Memorial Mission Hospital. 
Gregory Kent Faulk 58 Ocean Isle Beach (Brunswick) 01/13/2021 Faulk died of complications resulting from an injury on October 26, 2018, when he fell fifteen feet down a fire pole and sustained compound fractures to both legs.  
Samuel L. Gorman   Asheville 8/27/1891 See listing for Charles Barnett.
James D Hensley 50 Brendletown (Burke) 06/09/2021 Hensley died after suffering a medical emergency at home, the day after participating in training exercise. He was a volunteer member.
Brian Keith “Keith” Jones 55 Shiloh-Danieltown-Oakland (Rutherford) 09/06/2021 Jones was an Assistant Fire Chief.
June “Junior”   McNeil Jr. 63 Pine Terrace (Robeson) 01/12/2022 McNeil died at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill. He was a volunteer member.
James V Radford 63 Polly Watson (Wayne) 02/05/2022 Chief of Department Radford suffered a cardiac event while returning to the fire station, after being dispatched to a call. At approximately 1:14 p.m. on February 5, 2022, PVFD was dispatched to assist on a fire call in Wilson County. Chief Radford was responding to the call when PVFD was told to disregard the call at approximately 1:18 p.m. Radford then headed to the fire station. Upon arriving at approximately 1:32 p.m., he turned his vehicle into the parking lot and collided with a parked car. PVFD members immediately went to his car and found him unresponsive and with no breathing and no pulse. They immediately started CPR and called for EMS. He was transported to UNC Wayne Hospital and was pronounced dead as 8:19 p.m. that evening. He was a volunteer member.
Benjamin Henry Smith 32 Edenton 11/27/1947 Smith died after the apparatus he was riding overturned onto him, after colliding with an automobile while returning from a chimney fire. He died at the scene. He was a volunteer member.
Charles Wayne Spry 51 LaGrange (Lenoir) 05/26/2021 Captain Holmes was a retired Chief of Department and a current member of town council. He had been hospitalized since suffering a heart attack at a fire scene on February 20. He was operating the engine when he was stricken. He was transported by Lenoir County EMS to Lenoir Memorial in Kinston, and then airlifted to Cape Fear Hospital in Fayetteville. He was a volunteer member.
William Daton Stalls 69 Oak City (Martin) 08/15/2021 Firefighter/EMT Stalls contracted COVID while on-duty at the fire department. He was a volunteer member.
John Ray Stroup 68 Salem (Burke) 04/15/2022 Lt. Stroup died after suffering a heart attack on April 11, hours after working with another member at Station 2, using concrete to patch and seal a drain basis and concrete slab. He was also a former Chief of Department, a position that he held for 12 years. 
Clinton Lewis Whitley 46 Ferrells (Nash) 10/17/2021 Clinton caught COVID at the scene of a structure fire on October 2, 2021, where all occupants were COVID positive. He tested positive on October 7 and died on October 17, from COVID pneumonia and multiple organ failure. He was a volunteer member.
Harry Lionel Williams 47 Asheville 10/20/1944 Driver Williams suffered a heart attack while standing beside his fire truck, at the scene of a small fire at Bon Ton Cleaners at 276 Haywood Road. 
Grady Dock Wilson 48 Asheville 06/28/1948 Driver Wilson suffered a heart attack shortly before noon at the West Asheville Fire Station, which was located at 421 Haywood Road.

Source: Legeros records.

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