Community gathers to lay Richford Fire Chief to rest - Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Community gathers to lay Richford Fire Chief to rest

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RICHFORD (WBNG) -- The Tioga County community gathered to say a final farewell to Richford Fire Chief John Keener who passed away Thursday. 

"I don't think you could go anywhere in Tioga County and not know who John Keener is,"  said his daughter Tracy. 

Dozens gathered at McPherson Funeral Home to pay their respects to the person many described as the center of the community. 

"He's always helped people, and he's instilled that value in his children, you know, most of us are in the fire department and we just help, you just don't not help. That's the motto he lived by," said Tracy. 

Keener worked at the fire department for more than 25 years and became chief in 2010. Classmates described him as a simple man but a genuinely good guy. 

His family says it's a tough loss, not only for themselves, but the entire community. 

"Everyone in town would just call Johnny Keener. If they had a question, a problem, if they needed a hand, they would call and my dad would get it done," said Tracy. "I think we're more sorry for the community, he left behind a great legacy." 

His procession lined the street making its way from Newark Valley to Richford where Keener will be laid to rest at his family farm. 

"Some people live to be 100, but my dad was 49 and had a larger impact than some people that live that long," said Tracy. She says her father will never be forgotten. 

Following his procession, a final call was given to thank Keener for his dedication to the fire service.  

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