National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 24
Year of Death: 2008

Brian J. Munz

Brian was born on January 22‚ 1984‚ in Fairbury‚ Illinois. From the time he started walking‚ he was an outdoorsman. By the time he was two years old‚ Brian spent most of his time outdoors with one of his parents or his grandfather. His toys were farm equipment‚ trucks and earth moving equipment‚ and his choice of a ride was a pedal tractor.

By the time he was six years old‚ Brian was riding his small‚ red bicycle to Kilgus Dairy‚ a couple miles from his home. He loved to help with chores and spend time with the Kilgus family. His home was on the golf course‚ and he enjoyed talking with the head groundskeeper to learn about caring for fairways and greens. Even before he started first grade‚ he was wading in the creek to find golf balls and then selling them to golfers at the tee next to his home. At nine years old‚ the young entrepreneur had invested thousands of dollars from golf ball sales and other jobs in John Deere stock.

Later‚ Brian took on additional jobs – working at the golf course‚ mowing lawns‚ helping at the Dairy Farm‚ etc. He purchased his first four-wheeler ATV and later a pickup truck. His first truly heroic act was on an ATV; Brian and friends were racing across a frozen pond when a friend broke through the ice. Brian sped back and dove into the water to assist his pal to safety. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved canoeing and kayaking with friends.

Brian started Big B’s Lawn Care shortly after graduating from high school. He was known throughout the community for superior work and for endless acts of kindness. After his funeral‚ scores of residents reminisced about how Brian had stopped what he was doing to provide assistance. Elderly citizens felt a deep loss‚ because Brian always found time to visit‚ even on his busiest days.

Brian always wanted to be a firefighter. The minimum age to join the department was 21. He relentlessly campaigned and finally convinced the fire chief to lower the age requirement to 18. He loved fire training and always wanted to attend additional fire training courses. He never wanted to be with the truck at a fire; he wanted to be the first firefighter in the building. His final fire call was a house fire in a neighboring community. Brian gave his life doing what he loved most.

Everyone remembers Brian for his big smile‚ crazy antics‚ and his passion for helping people.

Memorial Posts


Memorial Wall

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  1. I only met Brian once but knew right then he was a special person. His name and reputation will live on forever.

    – Milton Mowery
  2. God bless all fire fighters. Your job is so dangerous and I do appreciate what you do.

    – Lisa Shive
  3. Just stopping by to pay my respects to Brian, and to say Thank you for his courage and strength. He will never be forgotten!

    Starla, proud baby sister of Kenneth Nickell, LODD 4/6/99 KY

    – Starla Taylor
  4. Brian and I grew up and were in the same class many years in school. He was a sweet kid….loved everyone, and always made time for anyone needing anything. He was never too busy to stop what he was doing and lend a hand wherever needed. His smile and goofy outgoing personality was very contagious. He sure had some very special people who raised him, and taught him well♡♡ Just paying my respects to a friend and also to his dear family♡♡ Until we meet again Brian, take care and watch over my family and friends who are up there with you! Also, keep watching over all of us still plugging along down here?

    – Kyann
  5. I was there that night , I still think of that night often, Brian was a great and funny man , he’s still deeply missed by those who knew and loved him, he’ll be remembered for years to come. God blessed this young man with a love that many will never know…God Bless

    – Chuck Huling
  6. Brian was one of my very good friends. He always knew how to cheer you up. He was so kind hearted. I was so lucky to call him friend!

    – Heidi
  7. May the residents of Fairbury take the time to remember the sacrifice Brian and his family made ten years ago — and may they support those who continue to serve in their community full-well knowing the potential sacrifices that may await them.

    – Joseph Cluchey