Family, city say goodbye to Warren firefighter
Warren Fire Lt. Don Beauchene, 54, died of COVID-19 on Nov. 17
WARREN — Warren Fire Lt. Don Beauchene was a servant.
He was a humble man who gratefully served his wife, family, city and, really, anyone needing a helping hand.
Beauchene, 54, a born-again Christian, found that serving others made his life more fulfilling and taught a greater love.
The funeral for the firefighter, who died of COVID-19 on Nov. 17, was held Tuesday morning at North-Mar Church, 3855 E. Market St.
Representatives from eight fire departments, as well as the Warren Police Department and Medstar ambulance, were there to escort his body from the church to Warren’s main fire station at 111 South St., to his duty station at 1700 Atlantic St. NW and back to the church.
More than 100 residents and firefighters stood outside the city’s main station as his body was carried on a firetruck through the city.
Fire departments in the escort were Liberty, Bazetta, Parkman, Fowler, Vienna, Brookfield, Lordstown and Canfield (Cardinal Joint Fire District). MedStar also sent an ambulance to the funeral.
‘A BLESSING TO ALL’
Myron Daum, pastor of North-Mar Church, described Beauchene as a good man and a man of faith.
“He was a blessing to all who knew him,” Daum said. “We wish he was alive, smiling, working and taking care of his family.”
Daniel Beauchene said he is grateful for the work ethic his father instilled in him.
“My dad, like many firefighters, had two or more jobs,” Beauchene said. “It is rare that he did not work 100 or more hours a week.
“I am thankful for the respect he instilled in me,” the younger Beauchene said. “I’m thankful for the attitude of service that my dad showed on and off duty.”
Beauchene’s adopted son, London, 11, described his father as a hero who would run into fires to help others.
“He worked many jobs, but his favorite was being a fireman,” London said. “I loved my father with all my heart. I will continue his legacy by being the best lieutenant, like he was, when I’m old enough.”
Warren firefighter Tray Carroll said Beauchene was more than a co-worker, but a friend.
“The Warren Fire Department is a hard place to start your career,” Carroll said. “He was there and helped me.”
Carroll said Beauchene was perceived as wanting to be a friend to everyone, but Carroll said he believes there was more to him than that.
“He loved everyone,” Carroll said. “That is the one thing that Jesus Christ honestly did was to love. Don was love.”
‘ALWAYS THERE FOR US’
Assistant fire Chief William Monrean described Beauchene as a man of incredible energy who did whatever was needed of him and more.
“He went through every training we made available,” Monrean said. “He was always there for us.”
Monrean described Beauchene as being at the department first thing in the morning.
“He was happy to be there,” Monrean said. “We depended on him to train our younger guys. He taught them how to be firefighters He was a firefighter, sometimes to a fault.”
Michelle Beauchene, Don’s wife, did not speak at the funeral, but, in a letter, described their lives as full of love and adventure.
Beauchene was involved in several ministries over the years. He went on mission trips to Guatemala, Colombia, and most recently to the New York Dream Center.
He and his wife worked together in the community on many outreach projects with the Warren Family Mission and local inner-city ministries.
When I am called to duty, God
whenever flames may rage,
Give me the strength to save some life
Whatever be its age.
Help me to embrace a little child
Before it’s too late,
Or some older person
from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert
And hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling
and give the best in me,
To guard my neighbor
And protect his property.
And if according to Your will
I have to lose my life,
Please bless with Your protecting hand
My children and my wife.