Olla residents, fire districts gather for funeral of fire Chief Joseph Thompson
OLLA, La. (KNOE) - Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon for longtime fire Chief Joseph “Joe” Thompson in Olla.
Chief Thompson died Friday at the Olla Volunteer Fire Department on Hwy. 165. Family, friends, and first responders from different fire districts across the state gathered on June 6, 2023, at Olla First Baptist Church for Thompson’s funeral services, which began at 1 p.m.
Dan Wallis, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal, says Thompson became a role model for many people throughout the state. Wallis says Chief Thompson found ways to intermingle his fire department family with his biological family.
“I think if Joe were here today, he would say always remember to put your God and your family first, and then serve your community,” says Wallis. “It’s all about love, it’s all about family, and it’s all about service to the community.”
As Thompson’s family stood in front of the fire truck that was dedicated to him back in Dec. 2005, they reminisced on what it was like when he came home from working at the fire department.
Leigh Ann Thompson, the daughter of the chief, says when he came home, he always talked about the fire trucks and building them.
“That was his passion. And we all were in the department. We grew up in the department with him, and he’s left a legacy with this whole state and especially this town. And, he will be missed dearly,” says Leigh Ann.
The Louisiana State Firemen’s Association awarded Thompson the Honorary Life Membership at his funeral on Tuesday. President of the association, Tim Crockett, says Thompson was one year shy of becoming a life member of the organization at the time of his death.
Shortly after Thompson’s funeral services, fire trucks fell in line for a convoy from the church to Olla Cemetery. Watch the procession below:
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