‘Raindrops are the tears of Jeff’: Veteran firefighter who died after bout with COVID honored with memorial, procession

The memorial service for Jeff Hager will be held Tuesday, Sept. 21, at Grace Covenant Church, located at 17301 Statesville Road in Cornelius.
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 9:28 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 12:10 PM EDT
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HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) – The Huntersville community said goodbye to veteran firefighter Jeff Hager.

Hager died on September 10 after he was hospitalized by COVID-19.

On Tuesday, friends, family and fellow emergency responders came together for his memorial service, funeral and procession.

Hager had served the Huntersville Fire Department since 2013. He had been a member of the Charlotte Fire Department since 1997.

Hager and his wife Amee tested positive for COVID-19 on August 23.

On Sept. 3, officials say their conditions worsened, and their progress had been very slow.

‘Raindrops are the tears of Jeff’: Veteran firefighter who died after bout with COVID honored...
‘Raindrops are the tears of Jeff’: Veteran firefighter who died after bout with COVID honored with memorial, procession(WBTV)

The Charlotte Fire Department announced that Hager died on Sept. 10.

Amee died from COVID on Saturday.

At Tuesday’s service, people shared their stories and celebrated Hagar’s life.

“Jeff’s looking down on us today, just to see who attended his service. We know that. The raindrops are the tears of Jeff,” said Huntersville Fire Chief Jeff Dotoli. “The tears of a man who misses his family, his lovely wife Amee, and Jeff will keep looking down on us as I know in my heart, firefighter Jeff Hager is in Heaven and great firefighters like Jeff don’t go to hell because the devil’s afraid it might put it out and he would, he would give it his all to put it out.”

The memorial service was followed by a moving procession.

In a “Caring Bridge” post with updates on the Hager’s and their children, it says, “If you are not vaccinated, pease go and get it. You cannot be replaced! Don’t leave your families behind to deal with this kind of pain and grief!”

Officials say Jeff and Amee have four children, ages 14, 13, 7 and 6. The children are currently being cared for by family members.

According to the Huntersville Fire Department, Hager was with the department since 2013. He served as paid part-time firefighter/EMT and was also a volunteer firefighter.

“Jeff, who was also a career firefighter with the Charlotte Fire Department, could be frequently found at one of our fire stations, often serving the community when he was off from his full-time job,” the HPD said in a statement. “Jeff’s smile and quick wit were contagious and he had many friends both in the fire service and throughout the Huntersville Community. Jeff was an excellent firefighter and an even better friend, father and husband. His loss leaves a large void here in our department and in our community - he will be surely be missed.”

A little more than a week after Hager died of COVID-19 complications, his wife passed away, her family announced in a journal post on Saturday.

A GoFundMe page to benefit the family has raised nearly $86,000 as of Monday morning.

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