Keefer died Saturday in a tractor accident while doing yard work outside his home in Pleasant Hall. Some of his fellow volunteer firefighters were the first to respond to the scene. They say the news of his passing shocked them.
"You know we're a big family here,” said Andrew Reed, a firefighter paramedic at Pleasant Hall Volunteer Fire Company who worked with Keefer. “And we deal with it as a family. We're all brothers and sisters here and we lean on each other definitely in times like this."
Those at the station say 57-year-old Keefer was a role model.
"He was one of the elder members here so he's someone us younger people should look up and strive to be like," said fellow firefighter Lt. Matthew Kendall.
Keefer first joined the company in 1974 and left to work in the military for nine years as a paramedic. But about two and a half years ago, he came back to the fire company in full force, winning the 2012 firefighter of the year award.
"Whether it was working bingo or any other fundraiser or going out on one of the fire trucks on an emergency run, he was passionate about what he did,” said Reed. “He always had a smile on his face. He would do anything for anybody."
His colleagues also remember his sense of humor. They say he could always cheer them up.
"He was always making jokes,” said
Keefer will be laid to rest at his funeral Friday afternoon. His firefighter's memorial service is also scheduled for Friday at