CRESTVIEW — The Latin credo "Omnis cedo domus" — everyone goes home — inscribed on Crestview Fire Department vehicles took on a new meaning Tuesday when the community bid farewell to former Fire Chief Joseph Traylor, who died Jan. 11 at the age of 73.
City Hall closed its doors at 2:30 p.m. so city employees could attend Traylor's funeral at the Crestview Community Center.
Crestview firefighters lined the street to honor their former chief, snapping to attention and saluting as Traylor’s hearse passed slowly beneath a large American flag.
Firefighters from Crestview, Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Holt, Baker, Almarante, North Okaloosa and other departments attended the funeral along with law officers family members and friends.
Crestview Police senior chaplain Rev. Mark Broadhead led the service.
Mayor David Cadle remembered Traylor. “The man was not shy about speaking his opinion, even to elected officials. ... He truly had a vision for the future of public safety in the city.”
Current Fire Chief Tony Holland described how Traylor grew the department during his 24 years from one station to three, and along the way, mentored Holland.
“He believed in me so much it convinced me to believe in myself,” Holland said.
The indoor service concluded with the playing of “Freebird,” a Lynyrd Skynyrd song that was one of Chief Traylor’s favorites. It was played when he returned to the United States from service in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.
After the service moved outside, there was a radio call-out for Traylor. “Chief Joseph Traylor has done his job well. He has gone home. He will not be forgotten by his family and friends. God speed. Chief Joseph Traylor is now out of service.”