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Morgan firefighter honored after losing his battle with cancer

Apr 25, 2024 09:38AM ● By Verlene Johnson

“Brance was an amazing father and husband,” said his wife Savana. “He was the best brother, son and friend. We love and miss him so much!” Courtesy photos

The firefighting community's tightly knit bonds are often compared to a family, a sentiment exemplified by the Morgan Fire & EMS Department's gesture of lowering their flags to half-staff in honor of Firefighter Brance Brown on April 10, 2024, after his three-year battle with cancer came to an end.

Raised in Morgan, Utah, since he was 4 years old, Brown, 32, was deeply respected and loved by his community as a firefighter and EMT. “Brance was a statue of pure virtue,” Morgan County Fire Marshall, Dave Rich, said of Brown. “His mind was always at work trying to figure out how and who he could help next. His saying of ‘Keep on Keeping On’ will ring in my ears forever. He once was a nut and now is that mighty oak. His example for his boys and all of us will shine brightly as a guide for us to follow in the coming days.”

Although he didn't lose his life in the line of duty, his dedication and service were honored at his funeral. The presentation of the flag to his wife Savana, for a fallen firefighter, and the ringing of the bell was a solemn and respectful gesture, symbolizing gratitude for his service. The ringing of the bell three times is a traditional way to mark the end of an emergency and the return to quarters; however, it's also used in ceremonies to honor fallen firefighters, signifying their final call in a moment of remembrance. 

With the American Flag flying on the extended ladder from ladder 121 to pay tribute to Brown's service to his community, the funeral procession led by Engine 121, drove under the flag as they made their way from the Rock Church to South Morgan Cemetery. Fellow firefighters in their bunker gear honored him with a salute as Brown's casket passed by on the back of a horse-drawn wagon. This gesture showed the profound respect and gratitude felt by his colleagues and the community he served. 

Not only was Brown a firefighter and EMT with Morgan County, he also was an office assistant at the Ogden Police Department, the Office/Marketing Manager at Bingham’s Custom Meats along with being a freelancer and small business owner he also was a farmhand and milkman at Rosehill Dairy. Through his unique work life, he made an unforgettable impact in Morgan.

Brown’s battle with stage-four colorectal cancer began in November 2020. The outpouring of emotional and financial support not only provided comfort to the Brown family but also inspired them to give back in a meaningful way. 

The family started the “No One Fights Alone” foundation in honor of Brown’s love for running as a way to pay it forward. By organizing races where participants have the option to run a 5k or a 10k, the community raises money with all proceeds going to people in Morgan County who are also fighting cancer.

“The goal is to let all those fighting cancer and their families know that No One Fights Alone,” said Brown’s sister, Bobbi Eddy.

Established as a nonprofit organization in 2023, the foundation has provided assistance to 15 families across the county with 100% of the proceeds going to those who have a family member battling cancer. “We hope it can keep growing and help as many people as we can know they are not alone in their fight,” said Eddy. “The event is great for the whole family. Everyone comes together to have a great time and show support for those people and families fighting cancer.” 

“Brance was the best younger brother in the world and the best uncle to my kids,” Eddy said paying tribute to her brother. “He quietly went about doing good, teaching by word and example. He loved his wife, boys, family, friends, and Savior and told us often. He lived his testimony. He was full of talent. He was the life of every party and lived life to the fullest. He was truly amazing! He has touched many lives for the better. He battled to the end with strength, courage, and faith. He is a true example of enduring well to the end. I am forever grateful and proud to be his sister.”

“Brance was a hard worker, always put others first, and had a good relationship with me and his Savior,” McCoy Eddy, Brown’s nephew said. “He was an amazing uncle.”

Another nephew, Cormick Eddy, said his uncle was a great baseball player and a great example of doing hard things.

“Brance was super fun, he helped me a lot,” Brown’s niece, Madi Brown said. “He helped me read my scriptures more. He was super fun to vacation with, my favorite vacation with Brance was the cabin.”

His brother-in-law, Matt Eddy, said Brance’s life has made a positive impact in this world. “He was a great brother-in-law and I will miss him.”

 Brown’s parents also paid tribute to him. “Brance has a smile that lights up a room,” his mom Nanette Brown said. “He always said ‘Isn’t life great?’ Brance made all he knew better. He is just the best.” She also thanked all those who have supported their family during his cancer journey. “The love we have felt from this community and friends has been so much appreciated.”

“Brance had a way of brightening the day or any event by just being him,” said Brown’s dad, Jim Brown. “He will be missed but his memories and influence are forever.”

The Brown family would like to thank the wonderful community and so many others for the countless prayers, thoughts, and acts of kindness for Brance and their family. “What an amazing site of support at his services and the honors given by the Fire Department and Honor Guard that were very touching and appreciated.”λ

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