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July 3, 2014

Family of late fireman donate to VFDs

CHEROKEE COUNTY — The wife and daughter of a Rusk volunteer firefighter who died in the line of duty 20 years ago recently donated items to two area fire departments.

Marilyn Harris' husband, Clifford Harris, died on June 28, 1994, at the age of 50. He had been with the Rusk fire department for almost 25 years at the time of his death.

A memorial fund in Clifford's name was started a little more than year ago by his daughter, Marisa Harris Boykin.

More than 45 applications were sent to volunteer fire departments in Anderson, Cherokee, Henderson and Smith counties several months ago. The Board of Directors chose the Lake Palestine East VFD and the Gallatin VFD as this year’s recipients.

The mission of the memorial fund is to equip East Texas Volunteer Fire Departments in the surrounding counties of Anderson, Cherokee, Henderson and Smith by providing small equipment for firefighting and/or department upkeep.

Chief Harris’s name appears on the statue on the capitol grounds in Austin which honors Texas Volunteer Firefighters. He was also honored in 1995 at the annual memorial service at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland by the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation.

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