Blizzard couldn't keep 300 from service for firefighter killed in logging accident
STODDARD– Despite the raging blizzard outside, more than 300 people gathered at James Faulkner Elementary School to say goodbye to Stoddard son and firefighter Shannon Sarcione Saturday morning.
39-year-old Sarcione died from injuries he sustained in a logging accident in Andorra Forest off of School Street on Monday.
During the service Stoddard Fire Chief P.J. Lamothe read a decree making Sarcione an honorary fire chief of the town.
Lamothe talked about Sarcione’s start with the town fire department as an Explorer. A third generation Stoddard firefighter, he joined at the age of 19 and served a total of 20 years.
In 2012, he was promoted to captain in the department.
“He was working toward his dream of achieving the rank of Fire Chief,” Lamothe said. “Shannon I am honored to have served alongside you and I am honored to call you Chief Shannon Sarcione.”
She recalled his heroic actions in 2009 when he and other members of the Stoddard Fire & Rescue team saved a many caught in the spillway and clinging onto a cable on Highland Lake Dam.
"Shannon was captain of the boat and he was struggling because the boat was shaking and heading toward the spillway of the dam," she said, after the man was saved Lamothe said she remarked to Sarcione what a close call it was and he gave her "that smirk" and said "I had it under control.”
"Shannon was a great leader and took his responsibilities very seriously. Shannon also liked to have fun. He was a wise guy," she said. “He left an impression on all of us. The smirk, that smile, that got all of us."
In 2010, Sarcione and other members of the Stoddard Fire & Rescue team were awarded the 2010 Lawrence A. Volz Emergency Medical Service Heroism Award by The State of NH Emergency Medical Service Committee of Merit for their heroism during that rescue at the dam on Aug. 8 2009.
Sarcione also was a loving father to his 11-year-old son Hayden and son to his parents Joseph and Bonnie Sarcione, she said.
His father Joseph Sarcione, the department’s Deputy Chief, has been a Stoddard firefighter for 35 years.
Sarcione is also survived by his girlfriend Lauren Aliseo and her daughter, Deonna Thompson of Stoddard as well as many other family members and all Stoddard firefighters.
“You were his brothers,” Lamothe to the Stoddard firefighters.
Through his love of the woods he created a successful logging and excavating business, J&S Cordwood, LLC, with his father, Lamothe said.
He was also a special deputy warden with the State of NH Division of Forest and Land and a deputy warden for the Town of Stoddard.
When Hayden stepped up to speak about his father, Lamothe helped him read what he had prepared.
“My dad may be gone but is not forgotten. My dad was the best dad ever,” Lamothe said, reading for Hayden.
Hayden talked about everything they did together from building their home, to hunting, snowmobiling, 4-wheeling and ice fishing.
“Dad taught me so many things in just a short time,” he said.
Lamothe said Sarcione was loving man who filled his life with his family and adventures.
“Shannon’s love was constant and I felt it personally,” she said.
Firefighter Stephen McGerty led the crowd in the Fireman’s Prayer the last alarm bell was rung in honor of Sarcione. The service was attended by many firefighters from neighboring communities.
Sarcione was a lifelong resident of Stoddard. He graduated from Keene High School in 1991 and attended the University of Maine in Unity, Maine.