Shawnee Fire Chief Jeff Hudson on Thursday praised the courage and commitment of John Glaser, the first Shawnee firefighter to die in the line of duty.
“Each of you knows the meaning of ‘call to duty,’” Hudson told the assembly at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood. “John’s call to duty lives deep in his soul, and he showed that call to duty every day.
“John lived ‘call to duty’ so much that he gave his life because he thought someone was trapped in that burning home, and he might be able to save them.”
The church’s pastor, Adam Hamilton, shared stories about Glaser, 33, from his family. Glaser’s parents, Hamilton related, said their son was the perfect baby and a joy.
As a child, Glaser used his middle name, Bradford, going by “Brad” or “J.B.” Hamilton said Glaser’s parents described their son as outgoing, and a lover of animals and the arts.
“John was a remarkable boy, and he grew into a more remarkable man,” Hamilton said, later adding, “He was a man who was larger than life and who loved life.”
Hamilton discussed Glaser’s love of the Kansas Jayhawks, his service in the Marines and his decision to go into firefighting.
Hudson also described Glaser’s intelligence, work ethic and contributions to the Shawnee Fire Department.
“John came to us as a young man who had a passion for helping people and wanted to do everything he could to be a good firefighter,” Hudson said.
Glaser’s survivors include his wife, Amber (Plumb) Glaser; a son, Brecken Joseph Glaser; a daughter, Emma Grace Glaser; his parents, Arvon and Patty Glaser; and a brother, Michael Glaser. His in-laws are Lawrence residents Tim and Kristi Plumb.
Glaser died battling a fire in a home Saturday.