Thousands of firefighters from across North Texas and beyond filled the sanctuary at Park Cities Baptist Church Saturday morning to remember fallen firefighter Stanley Wilson.
Hundreds of Boy Scouts were there as well. Wilson’s son Noah led the salute by Troop 890 where the 51-year old Wilson was quarter master.
"This is someone who gave of himself on a daily basis and dedicated his life to service,” said Dallas Fire Chief Louie Bright. “It's certainly no surprise to any of us that on the morning of May 20th there was no hesitation on the part of Stanley Wilson to give it all he had to save the lives of others."
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Wilson spent 28 of his 51 years as a firefighter. His career was a big part of his life but that's not what defined him.
Someone asked him once, ‘Stanley what kind of work do you do?’ recalled retired Chaplain Denny Burris. “He said, ‘I am a husband to my wife and a father to my boys.’ Wow. What a testament of his priorities. He understood who he was, he understood what was important."
Wilson died Monday while helping extinguish a six-alarm fire at the Hearthwood Condominiums at 12363 Abrams Road. He had been a Dallas firefighter since 1985. Authorities are trying to determine what sparked the North Dallas blaze that destroyed 24 units.
Wilson's boss said he lived up to his potential and went beyond it a number of times. Station 53, where Wilson spent the past two decades won't be the same but the firefighters serving there are better for having known Stan Wilson.
"I believe he would say, 'I know you miss me but don't worry about me because I'm okay. And what I need you to do today is keep going, keep getting on those trucks and get on those rescues and maintain that passion not only for your work but for the people you work with'," said Chief Bright.
"We're sad that Stan lost his life,” said Burris. “But let me say this. Stan's life was not taken from him. Stan gave his life and the badge is what he represented."
After the funeral service, firefighters lifted Wilson’s casket onto a fire engine from his Station 53 which took him to his final resting place, the Garden of Honor at Restland Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers Wilson’s family welcomes donations made to the Scholarship Fund in Memory of Stan Wilson at Lakewood Presbyterian School in Dallas.