TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Tyler Fire Department Captain Stuart Weatherford, a beloved East Texas firefighter, has passed away after a battle with cancer.
Weatherford, 57, was hired by the department in July 1998. He was promoted to Fire Engineer in December, 2006, and Fire Captain in February, 2011.
Well known for his physical fitness, Capt. Weatherford was the recipient of the department’s Gold Fitness Award for many years, and was a member of the department’s “Most Physically Fit Crew” in 2002.
He also received the Outstanding Firefighter Award that same year.
“Captain Weatherford was one of our most admired employees,” said Tyler Fire Chief David Coble. “He was well-respected in our department and throughout the community. He served with distinction and leaves a lasting legacy. He will be truly missed.”
Captain Weatherford worked out of Fire Station #8 on Shiloh Rd. in the southeastern part of the city.
Along with his duties as a captain, Weatherford was actively involved in many public service efforts during his time away from the department.
As a long-time member of the Tyler Firefighter Combat Challenge Team, he represented the department and city at numerous events across the United States.
He was instrumental in the founding and organizing of the annual Tyler Firefighters Relief Fund Golf Tournament, which supports firefighters and their families who are unexpectedly impacted by medical and health-related issues.
Community members may also recognize him as the face of the annual Tee Off For Toys Golf Tournament, which supports the Salvation Army’s efforts to collect funds and toys for the needy.
Weatherford is survived by his wife Kelly and four children.
Funeral services for Captain Weatherford have been set.
Visitation will be on Sunday, 6-8 p.m., at Rock Hill Baptist Church, 20022 Hwy. 31 East, Brownsboro, TX.
The funeral service is scheduled for Monday at 2 p.m., at Rock Hill Baptist Church, with interment to follow at the Zion Hill Assembly of God cemetery, FM 1861 in Walton, TX, near Martins Mill.
The Tyler Professional Fire Fighters Association posted a tribute to Captain Weatherford on its Facebook page.