KETTERING — A longtime Kettering firefighter/paramedic who died Dec. 24 was honored Wednesday as public safety officials paid respects with a funeral procession in the city.
Tracy Leach, a Xenia High School graduate and a resident of that city who died from cancer, was the first full-time female firefighter/paramedic in Kettering, according to her obituary. She was 52.
“She was an inspiration for countless females she encountered in the profession. Tracy selflessly gave her all to those she served and to those who served alongside her,” her obituary said.
“Tracy’s life was one of service and dedication to her passion, caring for others,” it added.
Leach served with the Kettering Fire Department for 19 years before retiring in 2021, her obituary said. But she was an “ongoing active employee” with the KFD, serving for more than 21 years, according to the city.
“Tracy whole-heartedly committed herself to her craft,” according to her obituary, “whether it be working as a line firefighter on an engine, a paramedic on the ambulance, dispatching police and fire units part time for the communication center or instructing the department’s paramedics for continuing education.”
She also instructed future firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics at Sinclair Community College, the Greene County Career Center and Clark State Community College, her obituary states.
The procession route included several Kettering and Greene County roads leading into Beavercreek before ending at Valley View Memorial Gardens on North Valley Road, officials said.
It began at the Apex Church on Far Hills Avenue and included Dorothy Lane, Ackerman Boulevard and David Road while going past Kettering Fire Department headquarters. Wilmington Pike, a section of Woodman Drive and Stroop Road were also involved before the procession entered Beavercreek.
Leach is survived by her husband of 12 years, Jay Leach; her parents, Dan (Sharon) VanHoose; her brother, Keith (Alzena); and nephew Cody VanHoose.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to www.franciskennels.com/give or by mail 1984 Lower Bellbrook Road, Xenia, OH 45385.
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