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Department vows to continue Luke Story’s legacy

After a five-month battle, Jonesborough Firefighter Luke Story finished his race Saturday, dying at the age of 37 of pancreatic cancer.
Yet while his friends and coworkers are already missing him terribly, according to Maj. Natalie Hilton with Jonesborough Public Safety, they are also determined to ensure his legacy lives on.
“Luke was amazing,” said Hilton, who was instrumental in helping to organize a variety of fundraisers designed to collect funds to offset Story’s medical expenses. “He wasn’t just a great employee. He was a great friend.
“He brought this community closer together. And his legacy will continue.”
That legacy includes a nonprofit group, titled the Luke Story Foundation, designed to help support other patients and families struck with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
It’s a legacy was a perfect fit for Story’s care and compassion, according to Hilton. Story was known, she said, for always having a smile on his face and for always being more concerned about others than himself.
“He always worried about everybody else,” she added. A David Crockett High School graduate, the Jonesborough firefighter was the one who started Crockett’s Prom Promise, a program designed to help protect young lives. He was also instrumental in Jonesborough’s annual “Shop with a Cop or Firefighter” program.
“He was my right hand man,” Hilton said.
Even on the day he died, she said, his thoughts were for those around him.
Story was diagnosed in August with pancreatic cancer after a routine doctor’s visit to uncover the reason for pain in his side. Immediately, his friends, coworkers and the entire town rallied behind him.
“The support really keeps my head up,” Story said at the time. “It keeps me going.”
Within a short amount of time, T-shirts and window decals honoring Luke were on sale, a “Benefit Luke Story” account had been set up, and a Ridin’ for Luke fundraiser, in conjunction with the Johnson City Firefighter Association, was ready to roll for October.
Altogether, Hilton said, they were able to raise more than $50,000, an amount that was able to pay off Story’s medical bills and his funeral expenses.
Jonesborough also plans on retiring Story’s number, 112. “Nobody will every have that number at the Jonesborough Fire Department,” Hilton said. And from now on, she said, Engine 107, and any future 107s, will continue to be dedicated to Luke.
“Luke had great moral character. He made the community a better place,” Hilton said. “He will be greatly missed.”
Funeral services for Story will be held Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m. at Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home Chapel.