Obituary and service: Ethan Thomas Wootton: The boy who wanted to be a firefighter

At a T-ball game the boy watched a fire truck go by. He turned and said, “I want to be a fireman when I grow up, Grandpa.” His grandfather said, “You need to play sports because firemen must be strong and agile.” “Okay,” the boy said. And his grandfather smiled.

When in school the boy questioned, “Why do I have to study, Momma?” His Momma said, “A firefighter must be smart and have much knowledge.” “Okay,” the boy said. And his mother smiled.

During his firefighter training, the boy asked: “Why do I have to study to be an EMT, Grandma?” His grandmother said, “Because firefighters have to help sick and injured people.” “Okay,” the boy said. And his grandmother smiled.

At his graduation ceremony, his Mom pinned his firefighter badge on. He said, “Look, Mom, I am a firefighter now.” And his Mother smiled.

Forty-two days later on February 21, 2019, a fire went out. And his Momma cried.

In a far distant place and time, an alarm sounds and the huge doors open as the fire engine rolls out. On the back of the truck, in full gear, rides the boy who wanted to a firefighter and is a firefighter. And the boy smiles.

Ethan was born on June 8, 1999, in Athens, Georgia. He grew up first in Stone Mountain and later in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He attended various grade schools and graduated from Brookwood High School where he played baseball and ran cross country.

Ethan always wanted to be a firefighter and studied firefighting part-time at Maxwell High School his senior year. He was a member of the Gwinnett County fire cadets program. During his summers he usually spent a couple of weeks in Montana and eventually became a member of the Cascade County Volunteer fire department where he learned to fight grass fires. After graduation, he joined the Gwinnett County fire department and became an EMT. He finished his training with the DeKalb County fire department and graduated in January, where he was assigned to DeKalb Fire Station 20.

Ethan played baseball from the time he was five years old until he graduated high school. He devoted himself to pitching and was well respected by both his teammates and his opponents.

Ethan loved the outdoors and he loved video games. He liked listening to and sometimes creating music. He was always ready to play basketball or a game of football with his friends. He loved animals, had a dog at his mother’s house, two dogs and a cat that he had rescued at his grandparent’s house and a horse that he claimed as his own in Montana.

Ethan is survived by his mother Stacey Wotton, his father Joseph Palmer, grandparents James and Susan Wootton and Ben and Billie Palmer, British brothers Jackson, George and Frankie, uncles Matthew Wootton, Rob Hartman, and William Palmer, aunts Jessie Palmer-Micklewright and Susie King, Ruth Hartman, Jan Wootton and Patricia Pettapiece, great grandmother Lucy Pettapiece and cousins in both England and Colorado. He is also survived by a large group of friends, fellow firefighters, neighbors, teammates and others who knew and loved him.

The Memorial Service to honor and celebrate the life of Ethan Thomas Wootton will be held on Thursday, February 28, 2019, at 7:00 PM at Tom M. Wages Snellville Chapel. The family will receive friends on Thursday from 6:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, we would request donations to National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Here is a link to their page.

Condolences may be sent or viewed at Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, LLC, A Family Company, 3705 Highway 78 West, Snellville, GA 30039 (770-979-3200) has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Reposted courtesy of Wages Funeral Home.

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