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Savoy Firefighter Dies After Suspected Rare Illness

Updated: Tuesday, August 5 2014, 09:59 AM CDT

Kenneth Walker, 55, of Savoy died this past Friday. Health officials believe it was due to complications from tularemia, a disease spread through animal bites and insects.

Walker, Kenneth’s wife says "he’s just a family man, cared about every
minute he spent with us and the kids and the whole town and the fire

Vaid of the CU Pulic Health District says "confirmation has not been
made as of yet so it is at the state lab right now for confirmation but
the physicians have made a probable diagnosis of tularemia".

is a serious infectious disease, caused by a bacterial infection spread
through various ticks and rabbits in the wild. Humans may contract it
from a bite or from another infected animal. Walker's family is still
awaiting test results but says the illness consumed him very fast. 

"Like his whole time while he was sick it was a rollercoaster up and down with different things," Walker says.

and Sue were married August 6 1994 which means this coming Wednesday it
would have been their 20th wedding anniversary. He was very family
oriented and going to church was not an option.  

never had to pull him to church. He was the one getting us up and
saying this is what we do on Sundays and really instilled those values
in our children and in me," Walker says.

(Ken) worked at a local construction equipment company full time, but
part time he served as a volunteer firefighter with Savoy.

demands that a volunteer fire department puts on an individual are
pretty significant. Ken was able to be actively involved for over 22
years almost 23," says Eddie Bain of Savoy Fire Dept.

described by his colleagues as easy going, one who got the job done and
knew exactly what he was doing, a mentor to younger firemen and very

one thing I will always remember Ken by…. no matter what time the call
in the middle of the night he'd wake up and come and help serve the
village of savoy,” says Sam Smith of Savoy Fire Dept.

visitation will be Tuesday from 4-7pm at Morgan Memorial Home on
Regency Drive West. His funeral service will be 10am Wednesday at Faith
United Methodist Church on Prospect Avenue.
Savoy Firefighter Dies After Suspected Rare Illness

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