Fallen firefighter remembered for responding to countless calls to neighbors in need

Kathy East (Image Courtesy La Plata Fire Dept)

A trip to church turned fatal last Sunday.

Kathy East of La Plata, Missouri, was killed and her husband, Stan, was seriously injured when their vehicle overturned on an icy highway.

Kathy died from her injuries two days after the crash on Highway 63 at Atlanta, Missouri.

Now, Kathy is being remembered for her decades of volunteering with the La Plata Fire Department.

Eighty-year-old Stan and 82-year-old Kathy East have been married for decades. It all started with a single date when they met in college.

“This date was a basketball game, and my friend from Connecticut, said, ‘Well, one date won’t hurt,” Stan said. “We started dating seriously, and then when summer came, we were already engaged.”

And they built a life together, raising three sons, Stan serving as a minister all over Missouri, and perhaps what they were both known for most – being members of the La Plata Fire Department.

“She and I ran many, many calls in our time,” Stan remembered. “She took it better than I did.”

Stan and Kathy were EMTs, and responded to countless calls to help their neighbors in need.

“She and I were on call six nights a week, from midnight to eight in the morning. I am not a morning person, but she bounced out of that bed,” Stan recalled with a smile.

Kathy was part of the La Plata Fire Department for more than 40 years – most recently as co-chaplain and secretary. Stan, the chaplain, a member for 56 years.

“We stayed with the midnight to eight o’clock a long time, and had that ambulance phone on our bed for a long time,” Stan said. “And it was Kathy and I.”

Being first responders first started with Stan and Kathy, and now, it runs in their family’s blood. Two of their sons, and one grandson, each are a member of the fire department.

“Everybody that worked with us at the hospital in Columbia said I was extremely lucky so have such a supportive family,” Stan said.

Kathy Easts’s visitation is scheduled for Saturday, January 27 at First Christian Church of La Plata from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with the service following.

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