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Public funeral set for Malden firefighter who died on duty

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A public funeral will be held for fallen Malden chaplain and firefighter John Thomas Appleton, who collapsed and died earlier this week while fighting a fire in Sissonville.

The public funeral will be at noon Friday in the auditorium at Riverside High School in Quincy. A private funeral, for family, church family, friends and firefighters from Malden and Sissonville, will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Kanawha Salines Presbyterian Church in Malden.

The Rev. Appleton, 62, was the pastor at Kanawha Salines and was an active member of the Malden Volunteer Fire Department. He responded to a fire on Happy Hollow Road in Sissonville, as part of an automatic aid agreement, and collapsed. He went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital.

The Kanawha County Commission and county Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management offered its condolences to Appleton's family, friends and fellow firefighters.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered all state flags at state owned facilities to be flown at half-staff from dawn until dusk Friday.

"John Appleton was a man of faith and conviction having served to protect and aid his fellow neighbors as both a volunteer firefighter and pastor of a local church," Tomblin said in a release. "During this difficult time, Joanne and I extend our deepest sympathies to his family and fellow firefighters. We ask that the people of Kanawha County join us as we pray for his loved ones."

In addition to his service to church and the volunteer fire service, Appleton also was heavily involved with the initiative to bring a farmers' market to Malden.

He is survived by his wife, Cathy Brewer Appleton, and children, including a daughter and four sons, five grandchildren and siblings.



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