MIDLAND- Very heavy hearts Sunday for the Midland Fire Department as one of their own passed away. Captain Lee Wise lost his battle against cancer. Captain Wise joined the department in August of1985, making it 27 years of community servitude and many years of memories.
Flags were flown at half staff on Sunday at all Midland fire stations, and a black band hugs their badges as firefighters mourn the loss of Captain Wise.
"It's depressing, sad, we all loved him. Like I said, anybody who knew him loved him and everybody here that worked with him has a heavy heart right now. We're here to support each other and the family," Eric Stewart, Vice President of Midland Professional Firefighter Association, said.
It's been a long uphill battle against stomach cancer for Wise. He suffered colon cancer several years ago and went through remission after chemotherapy and this time the cancer came back stronger. He died Saturday evening.
"I've been checking on them pretty regularly and the family and everything. We knew it was coming, it just hit everybody really fast. A little faster than anybody thought, just a good piece of me is gone," Stewart said.
Wise has been with the department for 27 years, 17 of those as Captain at Station 8. He also spearheaded many community events and charities and was a role model for many of his colleagues.
"Somebody I always looked up to. I can call him for anything and I knew he was there and that part is going to be hard to lose," Stewart said.
Stewart says Wise passed at home with his family and loved ones, he says it was the way Wise wanted to go. He's survived by his wife and daughter.
"I got memories that will last forever, so he holds a place in my heart," Stewart said.
A viewing is expected to be held this Wednesday at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home. The funeral service is expected to take place on Thursday. The location and time is yet to be determined.