Monday, December 14, 2009

Firefighters Honor Specialist John Talley:

Family, friends and hundreds of uniformed Firefighters gathered on Saturday, December 12th from all over the Southland in Cypress to honor Firefighter/Specialist John Talley. Talley, from Station 54 in South Gate, died December 2nd from injuries he suffered in an automobile accident that occurred in Long Beach on November 28th.

Los Angeles County Fire Captain, Chaplain Don Schwaiger officiated at the memorial services that were held at Cypress Church. After an opening prayer, *Amazing Grace* was played on the bagpipes by one of Talley’s fellow Firefighter/Paramedics. Family members and friends told of John’s service to his family and the community.

Rev. Kevin Kritzer, also known as *Coach Kevin,* spoke of Talley’s dedication to his sons and the Lakewood Village Little League teams. John was known for praising players who did not normally get noticed for their accomplishments. Kritzer explained that John Talley knew the meaning of sacrifice. He used baseball imagery to explain that God sent his Son Jesus to wear the uniform of humanity and take *three strikes* for the world so that those who believe in Him could reach home plate safely.

During the service Humberto Agurcia, from Talley’s home Fire Station, sang *I Believe I Can Fly* and *You Raised Me Up.* Agurcia is a dynamic vocalist who has performed at Staples Center. Firefighter Patrick Hamburg, Talley’s long time friend, told how John had risked his life for others and that during his 41 years he had learned how to *pay it forward* through service to others.

Cypress Church Pastor of Counseling, Ron Jackson, presented a message based on the 23rd Psalm. This passage from the Bible speaks about *the shadow of death.* For a Christian, death is like a shadow. Jesus died in our place so that this shadow cannot harm us. Pastor Jackson explained that John Talley had passed from our presence into the presence of the Lord.

An Honor Guard of Los Angeles County Firefighters performed a flag ceremony and presented a special American flag and display case to Talley’s family. Then there was the traditional *Last Alarm.* The fire bell was sounded fifteen times in a ceremony based on the telegraph code 5-5-5. This code was historically used to signal the death of a Fireman. The service was closed with prayer by Pastor Jackson and then family and friends followed the bagpipes out of the sanctuary to the reception.

Firefighter John Andrew Talley’s career included serving with the Long Beach Search and Rescue and the Beverly Hills and Manhattan Beach Fire Departments. For the past 18 years John was proud to *Wear the Bear* of the Los Angeles County Fire Service. He was a Firefighter, an Engineer and also a friend and brother to his fellow Firefighters. John is survived by his sons, J.D. and Andrew, his father Jerry and his sister Jennie.

A memorial fund has been established to support John Talley’s two sons. Those wishing to contribute may send donations to the Talley Memorial Fund c/o F & A Federal Credit Union, POB 30831, Los Angeles, CA 90030. Information about Cypress Church is available at (714) 952-3001 or email: There are worship services every Sunday at 8:45 and 10:30 a.m. The church campus is located at 6143 Ball Road just east of Valley View.

Cypress Church - 6143 Ball Rd. - Cypress, CA 90630 - Phone: (714) 952-3001

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