After Firefighter Loses His Life, Team Organizes Parade for His Son’s Birthday

Firefighters hold birthday parade for fallen colleague's son
(Youtube/Rockland Report, CBS New York)

Emergency responders put their lives on the line every single day to protect their communities. First responders go through extensive training to keep them as safe as possible on the job, but there are some situations that no amount of training could have prepared them for. 35-Year-old Jared Lloyd, a Spring Valley volunteer firefighter and father of two, tragically lost his life while putting out a fire at a nursing home in late March – just one day before his oldest son’s 6th birthday.

According to CBSN New York, the nursing home’s alarm system was not properly set up, and emergency dispatch services were not automatically contacted when the fire alarm went off. The devastating delay allowed the fire to grow as 112 people struggled to flee from the building.

When firefighters arrived, they hit another roadblock. The water pressure was inadequate, stifling their efforts to get the growing flame under control. Jared Lloyd bravely rushed to the third floor to save a resident still trapped inside, and tragically, conditions became too dangerous for the firefighter to escape.

“This is probably the greatest joint save effort with the worst type of outcome, meaning, there were so many people saved that day, but we lost one of our own,” Fire Chief Ken Conjura said.

Family, friends, and coworkers of Lloyd rallied to support the fallen firefighter. Lloyd was well known as a giver, someone who would drop everything to help those in need. A GoFundMe has been set up in his honor and has already raised over $600,000 for his two young children.

On March 24, a nearly hour-long parade of fire trucks, tow trucks, police cars, and garbage trucks drove past the fallen firefighter’s home for his son’s 6th birthday. With Conjura leading the way, the community rallied together to support the young boy. Some brought presents, some came with signs, some simply honked their horns and waved as they passed. The parade served as more than just a birthday celebration – it was a message of support to Lloyd’s family, the reassurance that they were not alone.

“He was that guy that you could call and he would be here in a minute,” Conjura said of Lloyd. “He was that guy that couldn’t leave because he was afraid to miss something. He was that guy that you want to have on your team. He’s going to be a big, big, tremendous loss to this department. He died as a hero.”

Chadwick Boseman’s Widow Accepts NAACP Award, Pleads for More Cancer Screening

Boseman NAACP Image Award
(YouTube/BET Networks)

Chadwick Boseman’s performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” was terrific, and it earned his legacy another award recently, as he won outstanding actor in a motion picture at the NAACP Image Awards recently. His widow, Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted the award on his behalf, tearily, and delivered a compelling PSA for colon cancer screening.

We lost the brilliant actor last fall at the tragically young age of 43 after the Black Panther star battled colon cancer privately for several years. His wife said he was an “uncommon artist and an even more uncommon person.”

“But the manner in which we lost him is not uncommon at all, not in our community,” she said while accepting the award. And it’s a message that should hit home with all dads, as early detection is the absolute key to preventing colon cancer tragedies.

She also made the point that black people are 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and 40 percent more likely to die from it. jh

“The age for routine screening has recently been lowered to 45, so if you are 45 years of age or older, please get screened. Don’t put it off any longer, please get screened,” she said, wiping away tears.

“This disease is beatable if you catch it in its early stages, so you don’t have any time to waste even if you have no family history and even if you think nothing is wrong.”

It was a poignant moment from the late actor’s wife, and it’s a message that was hopefully heard wide and far. It’s not the most comfortable thing to screen for, but you aren’t just doing it for yourself, you’re doing it for your families and for those who count on you every day.

“Please, you are so needed and you are so loved,” she said. “Please take your health into your own hands.”

While Donating His Father’s Wardrobe, Trebek’s Son Made Sure To Keep One Item

Trebek Son Memento
(Getty/Rob Kim)

Alex Trebek made such an impact on so many people during his life, and even after his passing, his legacy continues to make an impact. For instance, much of his wardrobe from his time as the legendary host of “Jeopardy” was donated to the Doe Fund. It was his son Matthew’s idea to carry on his legacy of giving, and together with the Jeopardy costumer, they donated more than 14 suits, 58 dress shirts, 300 ties, and more to the organization that helps homeless and formerly incarcerated people find stable jobs.

Trebek’s formal wear is now being used by folks hoping to make a great first impression on life-changing job interviews. But there was one memento Matthew kept to remember his dad. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Trebek said he kept one piece of his formal attire.

“I kept a tie that my mom had given my dad,” he said. “As far as clothing goes, that was probably the most important item. Almost everything from ‘Jeopardy!’ went to The Doe Fund, and now we just have his closet at home here. We’ll still sort through those (items), but for right now, those are kind of staying put.”

Matthew said seeing his dad’s suits on the men from the Doe Fund program has made him feel great, and that it’s “really meaningful and really heartwarming.” He also said his dad, who supported a wide variety of charitable causes, would feel pretty good about it too.

“I think giving second chances, and helping guys who had a bit of a rough past get back on their feet, I think it’s a great mission, and something me and my family all support,” he said.

While much of that wardrobe is being used for a great cause, there is that one tie that will be serving an even greater cause, helping a son remember his dad.

Heroic Police Officer Killed in Colorado Grocery Store Shooting Was Father of 7

Officer Talley
(Twitter/City of Boulder)

The mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado on Monday has rocked our nation – ten lives were lost in a senseless grocery store shooting. One of those tragic losses was a dad of 7, and a Boulder police officer, who acted heroically and gave his life helping others stay safe.

51-year-old Eric Talley was killed responding to the shooting at King Soopers grocery store, and the Boulder police chief praised his heroic actions on the scene. More than a police officer, he was a loving dad, as Talley had seven children, the youngest of which is only 7 years old.

Talley’s father, Homer, said his son loved being a police officer, but he loved being a dad more. “He loved his kids and his family more than anything,” his dad said. He added that his son had recently been training as a drone operator, so he wouldn’t be serving on the front lines anymore.

President Biden called Talley an American hero. “When he pinned on that badge yesterday morning he didn’t know what the day would bring…But when the moment to act came, officer Talley did not hesitate,” he said.

His police vehicle was parked outside the department and quickly became a memorial to the heroic officer.

On social media, some were reminiscing about other heroic actions from Officer Talley, including one woman who recounted how he protected her from an abusive ex.

A journalist shared a story about Talley rescuing ducklings on duty several years ago.

His sister shared a sweet photo of them as kids.

There’s no question Officer Talley was, in the words of the President of the United States, “An American Hero.” While there’s still so much more to mourn and learn in the aftermath of the shooting, it’s important to remember and honor those who lost their lives more than any shooter. Officer Talley was a hero, yes, but he was also a dad.

Dick Hoyt, Boston Marathon Icon Who Pushed His Son in a Wheelchair, Dies at 80

Racing legend Dick Hoyt dies at 80
(Instagram/team.hoyt)

It’s not often that becoming a legend is a family affair, but the Hoyt family is anything but average. Completing a marathon is no small feat even for the most accomplished athletes, but for father and runner Dick Hoyt, the payoff was far greater than anything a finish line could offer. Racing became a way for the athletic dad to bond with his son, and perhaps more importantly, it allowed his son to experience a level of freedom and adventure that may not otherwise be possible.

Dick Hoyt’s son Rick has cerebral palsy, and it wasn’t until age 11 that he got a computer that allowed him to communicate. Rick was finally able to attend public school, his assistive technology giving him the freedom to express his intelligence for the first time.

When a lacrosse player at his school became paralyzed, Rick asked his dad if they could run a race together to benefit his classmate. Rick wanted to show the world that having a disability didn’t have to keep you from living your life, and with his dad’s help, that’s exactly what he did.

Dick Hoyt wasn’t a runner at 36 years old after receiving the life-changing request from his son, so he became one. Hoyt began training, running with a bag of cement in a wheelchair while his son was at school. Between 1980 and 2014, the father-son duo competed in a staggering 1,130 endurance events. The inspiring pair crossed the finish line of 72 marathons, multiple Ironman Triathlons, and even crossed the entire US on foot and by bike – an astonishing 3,735 miles in just 45 days.

 

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A post shared by Rick and Dick Hoyt (@team.hoyt)

On Wednesday, Dick Hoyt died peacefully in his sleep at age 80. The Boston Athletic Association said in a statement, “He was not only a fan-favorite who inspired thousands, but also a loyal friend and father who took pride in spending quality time with his son Rick while running from Hopkinton to Boston.”

Dick Hoyt embodied what it meant to be an athlete, racing with a purpose that was near and dear to his heart. Just as importantly, however, Dick embodied what it meant to be a dad.

Watch the ‘King of Queens’ Cast Reunite to Honor the Late, Great Jerry Stiller

KOQ Reunion Jerry Stiller Tribute
(Facebook/King of Queens)

He was one of the best sitcom dads ever, and he did it on two different hit shows. Recently, the cast of one of those sitcoms gathered (virtually) to pay tribute to the actor who packed such a punch in every one of his scenes, as “The King of Queens” cast paid tribute to the late Jerry Stiller.

Stiller, who died in 2020, played Doug’s father-in-law Arthur on the show, and the series creator Michael Weithorn said the cast has no doubt Jerry would be watching the reunion and “screaming down at us from heaven.”

The cast tribute included many of the original stars, including Kevin James, Leah Remini, Patton Oswalt, and Victor Williams. Remini said he was the type of person who would talk to anyone.

“He would just talk to you because he just loved people, and he was so gracious in that way,” she said. “He was that guy that just was willing to tell you a story — many stories.”

Kevin James said he still misses him so much. “He’s just the greatest. “A lot of people see him how he acts, the cranky old man yelling and screaming, but it was the opposite of who he was,” he said. “He’s an angel.”

The table read reunion was part of a fundraiser for a charity near to Stiller’s heart, the Henry Street Settlement, a non-profit based in New York.

Stiller wasn’t only great as Arthur Spooner, as he also nailed one of the most memorable ‘dad performances’ ever as George Costanza’s dad Frank on Seinfeld.

Chadwick Boseman Earns Posthumous Oscar Nomination for Best Actor

Boseman Oscar Nom
(Netflix)

Chadwick Boseman’s legacy will have one final feather in its cap, as the late actor was posthumously nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actor category. The Oscar nom is the very first for Boseman, a well-deserved tribute for the actor who managed to electrify audiences during his short time on this planet.

Boseman earned the best acting nod for his outstanding performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, the critically acclaimed Netflix movie. Viola Davis, his co-star, also scored an Oscar nomination for her performance in the movie, as she’s up for Best Actress.

Boseman will always be remembered as Black Panther, but he had a number of memorable roles in a career tragically cut short. It seems criminal he’s never been nominated before, especially for his magnetic performance as Jackie Robinson in ‘42’ or as James Brown in ‘Get Up.’ He was also great in Black Panther, but the Academy usually snubs the MCU.

Boseman died in 2020 after a very private four-year battle with colon cancer. His is the first posthumous nomination in more than a decade. Very few have won after passing, but Heath Ledger did win for his performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” His family accepted the award a little more than a year after his passing, so there is some recent precedent for a posthumous winner.

It’s hard to argue he wouldn’t be worthy, as he was great in his role as an ambitious trumpeter in the film based in the 1920s. Boseman did win the Golden Globe for the same performance, so it could be the final piece of his acting legacy.

‘Dead sexy:’ This Obituary for a Father of Three Is Awesome

Obit for Dead Sexy Dad
(Twitter/BobGlissmann)

It’s not easy to write an obituary or to read them. Especially when they are about someone you love and were close to.

Every once in a while though, the person writing the obituary focuses on celebrating their late loved one’s life in such a way that makes his or her personality and impact palpable and makes strangers wish they had had the opportunity to know the person described therein.

Crystal Sauser wrote one such obituary for her husband, Eric, who passed away from leukemia a few weeks ago after a two-year battle. Crystal was married to the 43-year-old dad of three for 13 years, and her affection for him rings clear throughout the entire thing.

She wrote: “Eric A. Sauser, AKA Super Dad, AKA Easy, just a rockin’ dude … passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, February 26, 2021, at the age of 43 with his wife by his side,” it read. “His departure was just in time for him to make his spiritual appearance at every Red Sox spring game. Eric is survived by his wife, Crystal, and three children, Amelia, Violet and Benjamin, all of whom will likely sleep in the same bed for many years to come (sorry, Eric).”

She added: “Eric loved, in this order, his smoking hot wife, his brilliant kids and family, his many friends, the Boston Red Sox, the Kansas City Chiefs (before being a Chiefs fan was cool), the Huskers, Liverpool Futbol, QT iced tea, Adidas sneakers, fishing, backpacking, hiking, hunting, and any old Chevy he saw on the road. We are not positive, but we think the cause of death was either leukemia or more likely being ‘dead sexy.’ Eric, we’ve always loved you and miss you already.”

Crystal recently spoke with GMA about the obituary and her husband.

“At that point Eric said, ‘Enough is enough. I’m putting you guys through way too much,'” Sauser said. “But through the entire journey, Eric was such an amazing guy. He always had a smile on his face … he was more worried what was going on with everyone else than him.”

“I’m sad because I have a broken heart, but I’m not sad because we didn’t win our journey,” she added. “Eric never wanted pity … we kind of maintained that in writing the obituary.”

I should say so. I can only hope that my cause of death is being ‘dead sexy.’

Read the full obituary

GoFundMe Set up for 14-Yr-Old Hero Who Died Saving Friends From Oncoming Car

14-Yr-Old Saves Friends
(GoFundMe/Funeral Expenses for Ricky Rojas Jr)

There is nothing worse for a parent than losing your child. Full stop. It’s the cruelest thing you can imagine, whether it’s from a terrible disease or a freak accident. It’s the situation one Texas dad is in after his 14-year-old son was hit and killed by a car after heroically pushing his friends out of the way.

Ricky Rojas Jr. was walking with two friends to the store when a driver hit the boys, according to a news report. Ricky was a step behind his friends, so he was able to push them out of the way, according to one of the surviving boys.

Ricky’s dad told news outlets he was heartbroken, but trying to find some measure of solace that his son’s last act was a selfless move that likely saved his friend’s life.

“He has a heart of gold,” he said. “He meant the world to me, I mean that’s my only son.”

His sister started a GoFundMe to help the family with funeral expenses and said the police claimed the driver couldn’t see them due to the time of day (it was dusk).

It’s a tragic story, there’s no getting around that. But it’s also a story of impressive bravery from a boy who did what he could to save his friends in a split-second decision, the type that reveals your true character.

His dad said he’s trying to hold on to words his son would want him to remember.

“Don’t give up hope and always pick love and kindness.”

On the Anniversary of His Death, John Candy’s Kids Share Touching Tributes

John Candy's kids share tributes on anniversary of his death
(Twitter/ChrisCandy4u, Instagram/therealjencandy)

John Candy was a comedy legend, bringing some of our favorite characters to life in movies like Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Uncle Buck, and Spaceballs (the only time we’ve ever uttered the phrase, “I love Barf”). To us, John Candy was a brilliant, talented character actor who made us laugh when nothing else could. But to others, he was a friend, a husband, and a dad.

John Candy tragically passed away from heart failure on March 4, 1994, at just 43 years old. Candy’s legacy lives on, both through the impact he made on the world of comedy and through his own kids. Jen candy was 14 years old when she lost her dad, while her younger brother Chris was just nine. John Candy’s memory has remained alive and well for his kids over the years, and this year on the anniversary of his death, they made touching tributes to the dad they miss so deeply.

Now 46 years old, Jen Candy shared a photo on Instagram to commemorate the day she lost her dad. “Miss you everyday Dad,” Jen captioned the photo, which shows a framed picture of young John Candy with a candle burning in the background.

 

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A post shared by Jennifer Candy (@therealjencandy)

Chris Candy took to Twitter to mark the day of his dad’s passing, sharing an adorable and extremely on-brand photo of the comedian. In the photo, John Candy stands on a farm wearing an extremely colorful button-down shirt, a suit jacket, and a tie. He stands behind a golf bag, glancing at the cat that’s perched happily on his shoulder. There’s a lot going on in this picture, but everything somehow looks like it belongs.

“Missing you always,” Chris writes, including a second photo of a flower bouquet.


“He was an amazing talent, an amazing force,” remembered Chris Candy in a 2016 Hollywood Reporter interview. “He was on this planet to do a lot, and he did do a lot.”

Trebek’s Daughter Pays Tribute to Dad’s Cancer Awareness Work

Trebek Tribute By Nicky
(Instagram/nickytrebek)

A few days ago Alex Trebek’s daughter reflected on her dad’s legacy on the two-year anniversary of his cancer announcement. The TV icon passed away from cancer late last year but left behind a lifetime of generosity, wit, and decades of quality entertainment.

Nicky Trebek took to Instagram sharing a photo with her late dad:

It was 2 years ago today while we were working on the Jeopardy set that my dad bravely stepped out in front of the cameras to announce he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

He brought much-needed awareness to this terrible disease and provided hope to so many struggling. I’m beyond proud of him for his courage and integrity throughout his illness. So I’m continuing what he started and will fight for everyone affected by pancreatic cancer.

That’s why I support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in their mission to improve patient outcomes. You can too by visiting and donating.”

 

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A post shared by Nicky Trebek (@nickytrebek)

She also shared the panCAN.org website where others can join the fight. Inspired by her dad’s legacy, fans poured donations to the charity.

Alex Trebek made himself a fixture in people’s homes, in their hearts, and that lasting legacy will benefit the battle with pancreatic cancer for years to come.

Robin Williams Made Companies He Worked With Give Jobs to Homeless People

Robin Helped the Homeless
(Getty Images/Peter Kramer)

Robin Williams was one of a kind. There’s no better way to describe him, other than to say he truly and fully embodied a cliché that is typically used flippantly. While battling his own inner demons, he was an incredibly kind person to most everyone he came across, and he was a great dad.

Williams’ enduring legacy has a way of keeping him in the minds and hearts of fans even years after his passing. That was the case earlier this month when a Reddit thread evolved into a series of anecdotes praising the late comedian, and one oft-overlooked story about how Williams had a clause added to his contract that required companies he worked with to give jobs to homeless people.

It was his booking agent who initially revealed the tender request from Williams’ rider, and that it made him look at every Williams movie differently after that.

“I’m sure that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his clout as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back,” he said.

Robin Williams left behind an incredible movie and comedy legacy but was just as influential to the people he encountered and in the way he treated people. Everyone who worked on one of his movies has a great story about how he went out of his way to treat people nicely, and Williams was also a dedicated USO performer for more than a decade, touring the globe to bring entertainment to soldiers overseas.

And when it came to his rider, he wasn’t worried about what color M&Ms he was going to get or what meals he’d be served, he saw it as a chance to help the poor and give someone a break who might not have had many in his life.

Fellow comic Lewis Black once described him best, saying “his spirit of generosity was as boundless as his comedy.”

It can’t be said enough. Truly one of a kind.

Chadwick Boseman’s Wife Tearfully Accepts His Posthumous Golden Globe Award

Boseman's Wife Accepts Award
(Twitter/NBC)

Last night was the Golden Globes. The Globes are the first major awards show of Hollywood’s awards season, which will last longer than usual this year with the Oscars being pushed to April (thanks Covid) and also the least reputable.

Nobody quite knows who makes up the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, other than the fact that they aren’t black and they are corrupt, but the awards ceremony itself is generally regarded as pretty fun because the stars of movies and television mingle, and many drinks are consumed.

Not this year. This year, it was pretty much all Zoom. (Thanks Covid!) Co-hosted by Tina Fey And Amy Poehler from opposite coasts, nominees accepted awards and made speeches via sometimes faulty video feeds. Which made for an awkward broadcast that left little room for fun. There were few spontaneous moments where a couple of presenters – say, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig – riffed on stage. Instead, it was mostly a bunch of cringe-worthy reaction shots and stilted speeches.

There were a few genuine moments, like when the director of Best Foreign Film winner Minari accepted the award while his daughter hugged him, or when a pre-taped bit featuring clueless children made clear the overwhelming impact of the late Chadwick Boseman. Perhaps the most moving moment of the night was when Boseman won a posthumous award for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

The actor, who died unexpectedly last year after a secret battle with cancer, was not able to accept his award, but his wife was. Through tears, Taylor Simone Ledward did her best to fill-in for her late husband, expressing gratitude for his costars and crew, his family and friends, and the HFPA.

Give it a watch, and have some tissues handy: