FACTORYVILLE — A wailing siren broke the silence Saturday morning as the procession carrying the ashes of Daniel Lomax passed by Fire Station #9. Along the street, neighbors paid their respects, some who knew Lomax since he arrived in town in the 70s as a foster teen from Philadelphia.
With him on his final trip through Factoryville were representatives of several police and fire departments he worked with during his career. They included the Great Bend, Forest City, and Mayfield police departments, as well as the Scott Township Fire Department, where he was a deputy chief.
Many of his colleagues describe Lomax’s career as a journey of goodwill with plenty of stops along the way, stops where he inevitably made friends.
Jon Record worked with Lomax at the Great Bend Borough Police Department, which was founded in 2011.
“I think he wanted to help us. I believe he was sent to us from God in Great Bend when we started,” said Record.
At his graveside funeral at the Evergreen-Woodlawn Cemetery, Lomax, who was known as J.J., was remembered for his uncanny ability to show up when help was needed.
It was quality that may have cost him his life one week earlier when he stopped to assist at a car crash in Wayne County and was electrocuted by fallen wires.
Deputy Westcott Jones worked with Lomax when both were police officers in Hurlock, Maryland. He says, “Even when he had his radio on, if he heard something happening, if he thought someone needed help, he would come out from his house, he would get up from his dinner table, he would get up and help.”
His brother John Lomax says, “It came from his heart. It was his character, the same to everybody. He didn’t look at you for color, he looked at you for being a person.”
It is a lesson Lomax passed on to his 12-year-old son Daniel Jr. He says, “It makes me feel great that I have a special dad, and that he loves me, and that he was loved by many people.”
Ever the uniter, J.J.’s funeral brought together all the pieces his life. His Factoryville family, kin from Philadephia, Delaware and Virgina, and the brotherhood of first responders.
After the graveside service, a final tribute crackled over the airwaves
“Firefighter Daniel J.J. Lomax, this is the end of your tour. Go with God.”