MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A beloved St. Paul firefighter and paramedic is being laid to rest Wednesday.
Last Monday, 38-year-old Shane Clifton told his colleagues at the Merriam Park firehouse he wasn’t feeling well. Then he suddenly collapsed.
He died from a heart attack.
On Wednesday, Governor Dayton ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Clifton.
At 10 a.m. friends, family and community members gathered at Gustavus Adolphus Church in St. Paul to pay their respects.
The funeral was filled with sadness and laughter. Those closest to Clifton said he was the bright spot in their lives and never hesitated to push everything to the side to help someone in need.
Clifton was an 8-year veteran of the department and a Navy veteran.
Firefighters and first responders from Hennepin County, St. Louis Park, Lakeview and many others paid their respects.
They lined up and made their way into the church where Clifton’s family and friends honored his life with a home-going service fit for a hero.
In 38 years, he stood for his country and served his community. To honor his commitments, Clifton’s funeral included full military and fire service honors.
“We’re missing a heck of a paramedic and a firefighter. He was on one of our busiest engine-medic company so he went on a lot of calls,” Fire Marshal Steven Zaccard said. “He was a great paramedic, a passionate paramedic, and one that shared what he knew and his experience with others. [He] helped others grow in the field of firefighting and EMS. So , he was like a mentor to others.”
Clifton leaves behind two children.
In lieu of flowers, it is preferred that memorials be sent to a fund that has been established for his family.
Funds can be sent to the “Shane Clifton Memorial Fund” at Alliance Bank Attn: Carla Baier, located at 55 E. 5th Street Suite 115 in St. Paul.
Other memorials can be sent to:
Saint Paul Fire Foundation
P.O. Box 10593
Saint Paul, MN, 55110
Community Health Initiative Haiti (CHI)
P.O. Box 5908
Coraville, IA, 52241
Cards for the family can be sent to the care of the St. Paul Fire Department, at 645 Randolph Avenue in St. Paul.
Clifton will be laid to rest at Fort Snelling.