Friends, Family Pay Final Respects To Slain Fire Chief

Saturday, September 24th 2011, 5:41 pm
By: News 9

Michael Konopasek, News 9

MUSTANG, Oklahoma -- Friends and family said a last goodbye to Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan Saturday. Bryan was murdered Wednesday at his Mustang home. His wife has been arrested in connection with his murder.

There was not an empty seat at The Bridge Assembly of God Church in Mustang. Family members, friends, and leaders throughout the metro gathered for one final farewell.

The sound of Amazing Grace set the tone as the music from a bagpipe echoed throughout the church. The service captured tearful moments as family members and friends grieve a loss but also celebrate the life of Chief Keith Bryan.

"This is a tragic loss for a lot of people," said Keith Bryant, chief of the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

Dignitaries from fire departments and cities throughout the metro stood by to say goodbye to beloved colleague and a friend.

"We were good friends and obviously our name similarities connected us in that way," said Bryant. "He was a role model and a good example."

Fire trucks lined the street outside Bryan's Mustang church giving one last salute. A moving tribute including several eulogies told the story of a man who was described as someone who could always bring a smile to someone's face.

"He would tease me," said friend and neighbor Patricia Hilbern. "He would come down the street, if he happened to be behind me, he'd hit that siren," laughed Hilbern. "That's Keith."

Those close to Bryan spoke of the kindness he seemed to always show.

"Those that knew him and worked with him, they were blessed for doing so," said Bryant.

At the end, a mother who lost her son so tragically was handed his folded American flag.

Chief Bryan is survived by two sons, one of whom has followed dad's lead. He is now working as a firefighter in El Reno.

Bryan was a 31-year veteran of the Nichols Hills Fire Department. He was 52 years old.