UPDATE 8/25/2014 10:45 AM
A tragic loss for the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Firefighters from across the region came Saturday to say a final goodbye.
Retired Chief Edwin Sheppard was there when Mineral Wells Fire Department opened in 1969.
Sheppard died Wednesday morning after unexpected complications in a routine surgery.
Friends and peers paid their respects with a military style ceremony on Market Street.
"When we go on calls with him, anytime we were out there he was always smiling, he'd come over and shake your hand. You could always count on Ed to be out on the pump panel, smiling and giving you the thumbs up," says Lubeck Fire Chief Mark Stewart.
Stewart says the fire service is a brotherhood.
Sheppard also served in the military.
He was 76 when he died.
Firefighters remember the founder of one of Wood County's volunteer departments.
Edwin Sheppard died early Wednesday morning.
He was 76.
He served as a master sergeant with the West Virginia National Guard.
The first responder community knows him best as a founder and longtime chief of the PMBS Volunteer Fire Department.
It's known today as the Mineral Wells Volunteer Department.
"Public service was his calling. He was very much dedicated to a purpose greater than himself, and volunteerism, and protection of the community, whether that be serving his country wearing the uniform of the National Guard in the United States Army, or serving as a volunteer firefighter. It was very important to him, and an integral part of who he was as a human being," says Edwin "Bo" Wriston, Sheppard's nephew.
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday at noon at Saint Francis Xavier Church in Parkersburg.
Burial will follow at Sunset Memory Gardens.
Leavitt Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements.