Gary Lowell Cummins had been a volunteer firefighter for 41 years for the small town of Brocton‚ Illinois. On October 31‚ 2010‚ the Brocton Fire Department received a call to a house fire five miles out of town. Gary arrived at the firehouse‚ as he had so many times before‚ and jumped into Fire Truck #2. Upon arriving at the fire‚ the house was fully engulfed. Gary was instructed to reposition his truck‚ when it went out of control and came to a stop in a field ditch. First responders and medical crew were there immediately to assist‚ but their attempts failed. Gary passed away that evening from a heart attack. He was 61 years old.
Gary grew up in Brocton and raised his family there as well. He and his late wife‚ Lois‚ have two sons‚ Shon and Thad. As a young man‚ Gary worked for the local lumberyard but was later elected to be the township road commissioner‚ a position he held for 28 years. Gary was an avid sportsman. He loved hunting and fishing and shared all of his big stories with family and friends. One of Gary’s greatest attributes was that of storytelling. In more recent years‚ he and his sons had taken up drag racing. Gary loved poking fun at Shon and Thad over whose car was faster and who had the better reaction time. Everyone that knew Gary understood that if he gave you a hard time‚ he considered you a friend. Another interest Gary had was showing draft horses. He and his family showed horses for many years‚ and later he served as the assistant superintendent of the Brocton Spring Festival and Draft Horse Show.
Being a part of the fire department was a big part of Gary’s life. He was a first responder and held the position of assistant fire chief for many years. The Brocton Fire Department is made up of men and women that volunteer their time and talents to keep our community safe‚ and Gary was proud to be a part of that. Of all the jobs and positions Gary held over his lifetime‚ the positions of dad and grandpa were his favorite. Gary was a very proud father and a doting grandfather to his grandson‚ Trevyn. Gary was a great friend‚ devoted husband‚ father‚ and grandfather. He is greatly missed.