Beloved Firefighter Leaves Behind Legacy


GARDEN CITY - Garden City Fire Department (GCFD) announced the passing of Larry Pander, firefighter and military veteran Tuesday, February 27.

“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of Larry Pander - a true pillar of our firefighting family," GCFD shared in a Facebook post. "Larry wasn't just a teacher; he was a friend, mentor, confidant, and an indispensable part of our lives. His impact on our department is immeasurable, and the void left by his departure is immense. Larry's passion for firefighting was contagious, and he instilled in many of our firefighters the knowledge, skills, and commitment that define our profession today. Even after retirement, Larry couldn't resist the call of the fire station. His commitment to the field and his love for teaching went beyond the ordinary; he was family. Our deepest sympathies go out to Larry's family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched. To our dear friend, mentor, and brother - Rest easy. We'll take it from here.”

Pander shared his experience and knowledge throughout several avenues in southwest Kansas. Grant County Fire and Rescue invited Pander to assist with multiple events, including instructing classes for Firefighter 1, Hazmat, and Driver/Operator certifications.

Several Grant County firefighters shared condolences and admiration, including Austin Meier, who said Pander “was such a good mentor and teacher. The world lost a good one”.

President of Garden City Community College (GCCC) also had memories to share of Pander,

“Larry was a great teacher, advocate, and friend to many," the GCCC President said. "Had many conversations with him over the years and he was the pioneer that forged the pathway for the Fire Science program at GCCC. You will be missed 'bro' but never forgotten. Thanks for the time we had with you and the memories made, Pander.”

Details regarding arrangements have not been released as of press time.


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