FAIRFAX, S.C. (WSAV) – A man who dedicated his life to serving his community received a celebration fit for a local hero on Tuesday.
51-year-old Coleman Loadholt, a 14-year veteran firefighter, died after suffering a medical emergency while on duty for Jasper County Fire-Rescue on Friday.
Days later, dozens of fellow firefighters, family, and friends came to St. Nicholas Lutheran Church in Fairfax to honor his memory and the man.
Bagpipes played as the man known as “Coley” to friends was brought down from a fire truck one last time.
It was a fitting end for a man who was known to give back to everyone.
“He stood behind everybody, he stood beside them. Whatever the call was he was there,” said Wilbur Daley, former Jasper County Fire Chief.
For the dozens of family members both on and off the job — from Jasper County Fire and Brunson Fire where he started his career — this wasn’t about his death, but about honoring his life.
“What it is is an outpouring of love that Coleman had for his family, his co-workers and this was our opportunity to give it back to him today,” said Chief Frank Edwards of Jasper County Fire-Rescue.
His loved ones were visibly broken at the loss of their patriarch. His firefighting family still reeling from the loss of one of their own.
“He was a gentle giant. Very soft spoken, a hard worker, would help anybody he could, and loved his family,” said Daley. “You can’t ask for anybody else better than that.”
Daley remembered Loadholt as a compassionate man with a tremendous spirit.
“He cared about everybody,” he said. “You never saw him in a situation where he was anxious or angry.”
Radio sounds marked the final call for the dedicated civil servant, husband, father, and grandfather.
“Coleman Loadholt leaves behind an example of dedication, selfless service, and brotherhood. Rest easy brother, we’ve got it from here.”