Funeral Service Held For Grapevine Firefighter And Son - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/17/04-Sulphur Springs

Funeral Service Held For Grapevine Firefighter And Son

  Funeral services were held this week for two public servants. DPS Trooper Stanley Wayne Avery, Grapevine Firefighter Matthew Ringler and their two sons were killed in a car accident in Sulphur Springs on Sunday night.
  Trooper Avery and his son,  Jack, were buried Thursday in Sulphur Springs.
 Thursday funeral services were held for firefighter Ringler and his son, Chance. Outside a church in Sulphur Springs, flags hung at half staff as the solemn ring of bagpipes honored the father and son.
  Hundreds of friends, family and colleagues paid their final respects. Matthew's coffin, draped with the US flag, was raised onto a fire truck he once rode on. Chance's smaller coffin was placed alongside his father's.
  Below their caskets hung the helmet and jacket Matthew Ringler once donned to protect and rescue others. On Thursday, those who battled fires beside him, reflected on his willingness to help others. 
"Matt was one of those kinds of guys that when you hired him about 6 months later you go 'Man we did it right this time,'" Said Mike Richardson, Grapevine Fire Department Batallion Chief.
Ringler was a 6 year veteran of the Grapevine Fire Department.
  Ladders from fire trucks made an archway for the funeral procession. Firefighters, police officers and DPS troopers from across North and East texas flashed their lights to honor a fallen brother.
  "It's quite a shock and quite a loss to us," said Mike Richardson. "We go through this every great once and a while and we're a small department. A lot of the guys had been hired in a short time span but its fast growing. It's going to leave a big hole."
  Colleagues say it will be hard to replace the experience and dedication Matthew Ringler showed. But for a grieving family, a father and a son will never be replaced.
  Matthew Ringler worked for the Greenville Fire Department prior to working for Grapevine. He also had been a firefighter instructor at Texas A&M University.

Story by Maya Golden, mgolden@kltv.com

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