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Rehoboth Fire Department honors WWII vet, retired firefighter battling pneumonia

Earl Goff, an ailing World War II veteran and retired firefighter from Rehoboth, has been hoping to see a procession of fire trucks bid him well. His wish was granted on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (WJAR)

An ailing World War II veteran and retired firefighter from Rehoboth has been hoping to see a procession of fire trucks bid him well.

On Tuesday night, Earl Goff’s wishes were granted.

“Well, it gives you a great feeling to know that people are honoring him this way,” said his son, Earl Goff Jr.

The procession made its way by their home on Perrville Road to honor the longtime Rehoboth fireman as he battles pneumonia.

“(It was) pretty overwhelming,” Goff’s youngest son, Brian, said. “That was touching to see.”

Goff was healthy until November. That's when the respiratory infection hit him hard.

“It’s been a hard, tough time,” said Goff Jr.

Seeing the fire trucks greet Goff outside his window was one of his final wishes. The procession of lights came from the men he served beside.

“We’re very grateful for everyone,” said Brian. “(It) means a lot to the family (and it) means a lot to him.”

The diagnosis for Goff, who is in his 90s, isn’t good. But the grim news hasn’t stopped his wife of nearly 70 years, as well as the rest of his lived ones, from supporting him through the pain.

“It’s unbelievable how many people help out,” said Earl Jr.

His sons and daughters, along with his granddaughters and grandsons, were by his side as he is cared for at his home.

The big family embraces Goff every chance they get.

“We’ll help each other through it,” said Goff Jr.

Goff’s legacy, as a family man and noble fireman, continues to inspire his children and grandchildren.

They said he has lived his life serving as a pillar in the Rehoboth Community and hasn’t asked for much in return.

“When that tone goes off, he was out of bed and gone,” said Brian. “He put his life out there, on a limb, just as much as the firefighters do today.”

The family said they don’t know how many more days they’ll get to spend with Goff, but right now every moment of love and joy is cherished.

“Just proud, proud of my father,” said Goff Jr.

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