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Assistant fire chief remembered

SOUTH MAGOFFIN – A founding member and assistant chief of the South Magoffin Volunteer Fire Department passed away last week.

Jayson “Brent” Handshoe, 50, of Hueysville, passed away on April 13 after years of battling numerous illnesses, though SMVFD Chief Tim Joseph told the Independent Handshoe never let his health concerns hold him back.

“He was first diagnosed with cancer at four years old, he lost a kidney and the other kidney never was 100%, so he’s never been healthy and had about every kind of health issue you can have, but he was tough and could do anything,” Joseph said. “He was the best truck driver, the best welder, equipment operator and a great carpenter, and he never let it slow him down.”

Handshoe was one of the founding members of the South Magoffin Volunteer Fire Department, which started in 2010, and served as assistant chief, but Joseph explained he did so much more than just that.

“He was our motor washer,” Joseph laughed. “He did it all. Brent did most of the cooking at Community Day, and just did anything and everything that needed to be done. He’s one guy that we won’t be able to replace. He was just a really good guy.”

The following message from North Magoffin Fire Department, which was referred to during the services, explained the loss to the community:

“Today our fire family lost one of its finest. We extend our thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies to South Magoffin Volunteer Fire Department and the family of Assistant Chief, Brent Handshoe. We will mourn the loss of a selfless caring soul but rejoice in knowing he is no longer suffering. Brent battled a lengthy illness but never let it hinder his devotion to his community and his department. His legacy will live on in all those that knew and loved Assistant Chief Brent Handshoe, unit 620. He is gone but not forgotten. Rest easy brother, we will take it from here.”

Nancy Whitaker, who also serves on SMVFD, told the Independent, “He was such a wonderful guy. I just don’t know how he did it. He fought for life every second, but he never let it show and he was an amazing person. There’s nothing bad anybody can say about him. We’re just devastated.”

Handshoe is survived by his parents, Jay and Connie Vanderpool Handshoe; his wife, Michelle Hicks Handshoe; one brother, Shawn Handshoe of Salyersville; two nieces, Holly Handshoe, Paula Hicks; one special nephew, Riley Hicks; with a host of aunts, uncle, family, and friends. His funeral was held Saturday, April 16 at the Rock Fork Old Regular Baptist Church, with a last call for unit 620 read by dispatch after the funeral.

His full obit can be found on A4.

The Salyersville Independent and Mortimer Media Group extend condolences to Brent’s family, friends and the South Magoffin Volunteer Fire Department.


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