Kelowna firefighter honoured with public funeral service

Kelowna firefighter honoured with public funeral service

Capt. Kolar died of lung cancer caused by his 29-year firefighting career

Firefighters and first responders from across the province gathered in Kelowna on Friday to honour the late Fire Capt. Joe Kolar.

Highly regarded by his peers, Kolar died of lung cancer on Oct. 31, which was caused by nearly 30 years as a firefighter. A public procession and a line of duty death ceremony was held at Tinity Baptist Church to mark his passing.

“The death of a firefighter is a community event, as well as a family event and we feel your pain and as a community we stand with you in that,” said Phil Collins, the fire department’s chaplain.

During the funeral, Kolar’s family received the Martin E. Pierce commemorative line-of-duty death medal, service medals, a flag, his fire helmet, and his uniform cap.

Kelowna Fire Department’s Chief Travis Whiting and Local 0953 president Troy Mamchur both spoke at the ceremony, before friends and family gave a tribute to the late firefighter.

“He was regarded as a great firefighter, a great listener, a great teammate, a great captain, and a great leader,” said Whiting.

“Joe was a captain, and a good one. He was a positive leader that made those around him better. We trade no firefighter. We’re down one and we refuse to lose another one. Let’s celebrate Joe and let’s use his positive approach as inspiration, as commitment to fitness, to training … let’s honour Joe by committing to keeping each other safe.”

Mamchur echoed his colleagues words.

“Joe was one of those people that many of us went to for advice. He always seemed wise beyond his years … I think his parenting advice is golden,” said Mamchur.

Kolar started working with the Kelowna Fire Department in 1991 before moving to a career position with the department in 1999. He was promoted as captain in July 2018. He was a member of the technical rescue team, specializing in tower and freight rescue, as well as water and confined space rescue.

Kolar’s daughters Ashley and Taylor also wrote a tribute to honour their father.

“We are so proud to have been raised by such a special man,” Taylor read.

“We may be biased but we think Joe had it all: handsome guy, cool nickname, healthy marriage, healthy relationships with his kids, a career that truly gave him purpose, a community of supportive brothers through all of life’s trials and tribulations, and more kindness and love packed into a man than any of us will comprehend.”

Kolar is survived by his wife Lisa, daughters Ashley and Taylor, son-in-law Brock and grandson.

READ MORE: Kelowna firefighter to be honoured with public funeral service

READ MORE: Woman wanted on Canada-wide warrant possibly in Kelowna area


@twilamam
twila.amato@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(BC Conservation Service)
Hunter charged, fined for poaching immature moose in West Kelowna

Richard Fischer pled guilty to two charges under the BC Wildlife Act

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
13 more cases of COVID-19 tied to Big White Mountain cluster

This brings the total case count to 175, of which 32 cases are active

RCMP on scene at a home on Sylvania Cres. (Phil McLachlan /Capital News/FILE)
Two Kelowna men arrested after Rutland home invasion

Two Kelowna men, including a prolific offender, facing slew of potential charges

Nate Brown photo
Okanagan-Shuswap says goodbye sunshine, hello winter

Temperatures are forecasted to drop by mid-next week

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Washington. The President is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Family Literacy Week is being celebrated in downtown Vernon with the first ever Story-Window Walk Jan. 21-31. (Literacy Society of North Okanagan)
Catch a Yeti in the North Okanagan

Literacy Week celebrated with first ever Story-Window Walk

Most Read