Niagara Gazette — It’s not clear whether he had also tried to jump the guardrail or was hit by the oncoming car.
That Jones would put himself in danger to help a stranger came as no surprise to his sister Valerie.
“My brother, really, wasn’t scared of anything,” she said. “He would do anything and not be scared. That’s why he joined the Marines.”
His sister said Jones also wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps.
“He wanted to be a police officer and help people, like my dad,” Valerie Jones said. “He died a hero. He will always be a hero and my guardian angel.”
The Rev. Laura Norris-Buisch, who officiated the funeral told those who were gathered that it was a time to remember Jones by recalling favorite stories about his life. While his sister said Jones could have been called “Dennis the Menace,” his cousin, Gerald Wierert, remembered the “laughter and surprises” that would always accompany time with Jones.
Recalling a surprise visit home to his parents in the summer of 2013, Wierert said Jones was waiting in the backyard of their home “and nothing was on fire and nothing was exploding.” Wierert said the circumstances of Jones’ death will define his life.
“His selfless acts define him,” Wierert said. “Volunteer firefighter, Marine, Richard lives in all of us. He lives in the men and women protecting out country. He lives in the police who protect us.”
Wierert concluded by quoting the lyrics of the Marine Corps hymn, which was played by a police bagpiper as his Jones’ body was taken from the church.
“If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven’s scenes,’ Wierert said, “They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.”
The funeral procession left the church and passed by the Frontier Fire Company hall. It passed underneath a giant American flag suspended from two ladder trucks.
The final farewell to a firefighter.
“The (Jones) family is very appreciative of the support of the community,” Frontier Fire Chief Bruce Mack said. “They want to share their heartfelt thanks in this difficult time.”