Saturday, 22 June 2024

Toney remembered in emotional Sunday service

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Firefighter Keith Leffler carries the fire helmet for his friend, Franklin Toney Jr., during Toney's memorial service at the Lower Lake High School gym on Sunday, June 6, 2010. Photo by Miguel Lanigan.
 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


LOWER LAKE – Hundreds of people from around Lake County and beyond gathered on Sunday to remember one of life's greatest gifts – a true friend – and also to mourn just such a friend who was taken from them too young and too soon.


Franklin Toney Jr., 44, who died last Sunday, was memorialized in a two-hour service in the new gym at his alma mater, Lower Lake High School, on Sunday afternoon.


The afternoon service was preceded by a nearly hour-long procession from the Northshore Fire Protection District's Clearlake Oaks Fire Station, where Toney had been a volunteer firefighter beginning as a teenager.

 

 

 

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The procession to Frank Toney's memorial service leaves the Clearlake Oaks Fire Station for Lower Lake on Sunday, June 6, 2010. Photo by Mike Benjamin.
 

 

 


There, his firefighting gear and the gear he used more recently as a Caltrans worker were loaded into an antique firetruck that, along with fire trucks from around the county, sheriff's and California Highway Patrol cruisers, and Cal Fire equipment made the trip to Lower Lake.


A REACH helicopter hovered over the high school gym before the event, and a bagpiper led in Toney's friends and colleagues who carried his gear.


During the service – led by firefighter and friend Keith Leffler – friends and family paid tribute to Toney's great generosity, unconditional kindness and the ability to see the good in everyone.


“How do you sum up a man's life on a piece of paper?” asked his longtime friend and fellow firefighter, Charlie Diener.

 

 

 

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Frank Toney's last call

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