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Local Artist Creates Special Emblem to Remember Kelly Crush

Wichita Falls firefighters lost on of their own Sunday when 51-year-old Kelly Crush lost his battle with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease.  They wanted to memorialize Kelly in a special way, and in a way inspired by Kelly himself.
    Kelly Crush was no ordinary firefighter.
    He had a heart for others, and dedicated the last five years of his life to working with different ALS charities, the disease he was diagnosed with in 2008.
    Before laying their friend to rest, fellow firefighters wanted to fulfill one of Kelly's last wishes.
    Bob York, a retired Wichita Falls firefighter, says, "If you've ever seen the show 'Pimp My Ride', that's what Kelly said, that he wanted, to pimp his last ride.  We promised we'd do that."
    After collaborating, they presented Kelly their idea: designing and painting a one-of-a-kind emblem on his casket.
    "We suggested that we could have some artwork done on it, and he said he'd really like that," York says.
    Firefighters teamed up with the Owens and Brumley Funeral Home, Davis Signs, and local artist Ralph Stearns.
    Together they came up with an emblem Stearns painted on Kelly's casket, which friends say signifies what Kelly was all about.
    "His love for the fire service, first.  His love for our international.  Our love for him.  That he was just very special."
    York says the design is something they're all proud of.
    "We came out with a product that Kelly loved and that we loved, so we did 'pimp' Kelly's final ride."
    Firefighters from Fort Worth and from surrounding volunteer fire departments will be manning Wichita Falls fire stations Saturday, so Wichita Falls firefighters can attend Kelly's services.
    There will be someone from the area with them to make sure response time does not change.
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