Community Pays Final Respects For Fallen Firefighter

CLAYTON – Family, friends and the community turned out by the hundreds today (Monday) to show their final respects for fallen Clayton Deputy Fire Chief Jason Dean who lost his month-long battle with COVID-19 last week.

Approximately 500 firefighters and first responders from across the state honored Jason with a final fire run through his hometown.

250 fire trucks and emergency services vehicles participated in a 13-mile funeral procession. Along the way, the community came out to show their support and respect. Many held flags and stood silently as the procession went by.

The procession passed by Clayton Fire Stations One and Two, locations Jason worked for the past two decades serving his community.

Jason’s wife, Kristy, and two daughters, 13 year-old Addie and 7 year-old Harper, were in the procession.

Following the procession, Jason’s casket was carried inside the bay of Fire Station One on W. Horne Street. For two hours, friends, family, fellow firefighters and the public walked through to pay their last respects.

Afterwards, a fire siren sounded and Jason’s casket was taken from the Fire Station to the Maplewood Cemetery. Two ladder trucks displayed the American Flag.

The burial service was private and was attended by his family, close friends and local responders.

Jason was only 42. His death has hit the Clayton Fire Department very hard. But with community support, they can begin healing and get through the tragic loss.  He will be missed but never forgotten.

If you would like to help Jason’s family, the Clayton Firefighters Association is accepting donations. All donations will directly benefit his family and other Clayton fire families struggling with COVID-19 or who are in need.

Photos by John Payne