Jalen Smith remembered; vigil, funeral set

SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) - Family and friends are remembering Jalen Smith for the positivity he brought into their lives.

His funeral will be at Green Acres Baptist Church Saturday.

The Jackson Heights Fire Chief says Saturday there will be hundreds of firefighters at Green Acres Baptist Church.

He's even gotten calls from out of state for those who want to show their respect for a young firefighter with a passion for life.

Empty boots and a uniform ready for action sit at the Jackson Heights Fire Department in Smith County, they belonged to 20-year-old Jalen Smith.

"He made me feel old when he said, 'yes, sir.' I'd say Jalen, don't say sir to me. 'yes sir, Mr. Thompson.'

Terence Thompson is the fire chief at Jackson Heights.

He's known Jalen since he was a little boy, coming to the fire department with his grandfather, and is very close with his family.

"He's very special to me. They see my little boys everyday. The times I'm not there," says Thompson.

Since the car accident Friday night firefighters from across the county have been answering calls to help take the stress off the department.

"They always open their hearts to you, so when it comes down to brotherhood, it's there," says Thompson.

Beyond the brotherhood with firefighters, Jalen's family at Atwoods misses him too. We spoke with several today who had nothing but great things to say about him, and there wasn't a dry eye when they thought about not seeing him again.

"It's hard coming to work everyday and not seeing him here because we are like a family here. He was always there and a part of us," says Nataile McClellan.

McClellan worked with Jalen for nearly 3 years.

But she's not the only one who will miss his jokes, laughter and talks.

"He was a calf roper, and I team roped some. Talking about the horses," says Jerry Brooks.

Leaving people from all parts of his life having to say goodbye.

"God bless you Jalen, we miss you," says Thompson.

There will be a viewing at the Jackson Heights Fire Department Friday from one until four.

Followed by a candle light vigil at six.

During the time the Honor Guard will be watching over him.

The other two firefighters that were in the accident had minor injuries.

The crash is still being investigated.

A viewing will be held Saturday, December 8th from 11:30 a.m. To 12:45 p.m. The funeral will follow at 1 p.m.

Jalen will be buried at Asbury Cemetery in Overton.

A memorial fund has been set up at Austin Bank, the account is under Jackson Heights Volunteer Fire Department Account for Jalen Smith.


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