First responder community mourns retired Battalion Chief Ted McKelvey

Retired Decatur Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Ted McKelvey (photo: Stacy Rose/DFD)

DECATUR, Ala. – Many in the Morgan County first responder communities are changing their Facebook profile pictures to images of an emblem with a black bar, or the thin red line to symbolize a time of mourning.

They are mourning the loss of retired Decatur Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Ted McKelvey. He passed July 3 at the age of 46.

Shelton Funeral Home is helping the family with his final arrangements. Visitation will start at 10:00 on Friday for family (blood and fire) and 11:00 for others. The funeral service will follow at 2:00. The burial service will be at the East Lawrence Memorial Gardens.

His family asks that instead of flowers, loved ones make donations to Brothers for Life.

Brothers for Life provides resources for the men and women who respond to emergencies, as well as their families, when they are injured or pass away.

Many of his friends, family, and former colleagues are posting heartfelt messages and memories of their relationship with McKelvey.

First responders in the area are familiar with McKelvey, and back in 2015 they held a t-shirt fundraiser to help with medical expenses. Two years ago he suffered a stroke and had open heart surgery. Many of the messages posted about him state how infectious of a personality he had, as well as how hard he fought through his medical issues.

His daughter, Tara Richey posted the following message on Facebook:

“I want to take a moment to thank EVERYONE for the condolences on the passing of my father Ted Mckelvey at the moment the tentative arrangements are Friday at Shelton Funeral Home in Decatur, AL visitation at 11 Service at 2. I will make further updates and try to get back with everyone as soon as possible! Final arrangements will be made tomorrow! Also I will be asking that instead of flowers please send any donations to Brothers for life.”