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Friends, family share stories of fallen Arizona Hotshots

First Published      Last Updated Sep 28 2013 12:14 pm
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The Marshes had no children, and Eric Marsh himself was an only child.

During the offseason, he worked as an instructor, helping to train hundreds of Arizona firefighters. Marsh liked to say that working on the Hotshot crew "turned boys into men," according to his family.

"He was a loving and caring son, and he was compassionate and concerned about the well-being of the crew members," Marsh's father, John, said. "He was concerned for them, not just in the fire. They were like his family."



Grant McKee, 21, was training to be an emergency technician and only intended to work for with the Hotshots for the summer.

During EMT training, he would ask for extra shifts at the emergency room and would get them because his superiors liked him, said his mother, Laurie McKee.

"Grant was one of the most likable people you could ever meet," she said. "Grant was friendly, he was outgoing. Everybody loved Grant."

His giving nature also stuck out to his grandmother, Mary Hoffman. When Grant was younger, she'd ask where things were and he'd respond that someone else liked it so much that he gave it away.

"So on his birthday, I started to say, 'I hope you're going to keep this!" she said.

McKee had been engaged for 1 and a-half years to Leah Fine, whom he likened to "an angel." His family said he wanted to travel the world with her.

McKee's cousin, Robert Caldwell, also was a Hotshot and killed on June 30.

"I had four grandchildren, but Grant was the sweetest most giving nature of any of my grandkids," Hoffman said. "We used to think he was a little angel."

McKee's father, Scott McKee, praised his son and nephew for their courage and strength to do their jobs as Hotshots. At a public memorial for the men, McKee also was remembered for his upbeat attitude and relentless spirit.

"They didn't fall, they rose," Scott McKee said. "I wish I was half the man my son was."



Sean Misner, 26, loved football. He earned the name "Mighty Mouse" on his high school team in Santa Ynez, Calif., because of his size, tackling opponents with tremendous heart and desire," recalled retired football coach Ken Gruendyke.

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