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300 attend funeral for Carlton firefighter and wife

Photos by Tom Rivers: Justin Niederhofer, assistant chief for the Carlton Volunteer Fire Company, carries the firefighter coat for Randy Harrier, a volunteer firefighter with Carlton since 2002. Harrier died on Monday after injuries sustained in a car accident the previous day.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 September 2017 at 8:20 pm

Randy and Becky Harrier were killed in car accident

Randy and Becky Harrier

CARLTON – A husband and wife who were killed in a car accident were both praised today for their service to the community and dedication to their family.

Randy Harrier joined the Carlton Volunteer Fire Company in 2002. He enjoyed driving the fire trucks, serving in the fire police, and was insistent on the fire hall and the trucks being in tip-top shape.

His wife Becky attended many fire company events, and supported her husband’s service as a firefighter. The couple married in 2003 and has three children.

“Becky was as much a part of our fire company as Randy,” Ed Cooper, a Carlton firefighter and department chaplain, told about 300 people during a funeral service this afternoon at the Carlton Rec Hall. “Together they contributed so much to this community.”

Becky was driving when the couple was rear-ended on Route 31 a week ago by the fairgrounds. Mrs. Harrier was pronounced dead at the scene. Her husband died the next day.

“This is definitely a tragedy,” Fire Chief Dwayne Tinkous told the packed rec hall. “None of us have words.”

The firefighters were determined to honor Harrier and his wife at the funeral. A bagpiper played “Amazing Grace” to start a funeral procession.

Firefighters carried an American flag, Harrier’s turnout gear, a saddle from Becky’s horse, and small statues of a dog and horse to represent Becky’s animals. Mrs. Harrier, 38, was an animal lover, her family said.

Shawn McMullen carries a folded American flag which was given to the Harrier family later in the service today.

Becky worked as a clinical secretary for GCASA (Genesee-Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse). She recently earned her college degree and had started working at GCASA about a month ago. She had already made an impact on her co-workers, one GCASA staff member said. Harrier spoke often of her family, the GCASA worker said.

The couple’s three children were their greatest happiness. The Harriers are survived by Andrew, age 18; Kari, age 14; and Amber, age 10.

“The family extends sincere gratitude for all the love and support extended to them,” Cooper said.

Firefighters greet the Harrier family in the front row near the end of today’s funeral for Randy and Becky Harrier.

Steve Meyer, pastor of the Concordia Lutheran Church in Kendall, said Randy and Becky both worked diligently for the safety of the community. He praised the Carlton firefighters for reaching out to the family.

“There is little to be said that can make sense of the accident that took Randy and Becky,” Meyer said at the funeral. “But nothing can take us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.”

Meyer urged the mourning community to seek out God during this time of sorrow.

“God loves you and God can handle whatever anger and sadness you throw his way,” Meyer said. “God promises to love you no matter what.”

Carlton firefighters wore a black stripe over their badges in honor of Randy Harrier.

Mr. Harrier, 39, worked for the Orchard Dale Fruit Farm, which is owned by the Brown family. Harrier stayed upbeat – all the time. Cooper remembers visiting him after a car accident several years ago. Harrier didn’t let the circumstances get him down.

When he was in a financial pinch, Harrier stayed positive, Cooper said.

“Randy smiled when he went to work and when he came home,” Cooper said. “He has reminded me that I need to do a better job of smiling.”

Cooper said Harrier especially enjoyed driving Carlton fire trucks in the local parades. But at the Kendall Firemen’s Carnival Parade, Randy insisted on standing on the parade route with his children.

A mourning bunting was placed on this Carlton fire truck. It was Harrier’s favorite truck. He lived on Sawyer Road. This pumper was based at the Carlton fire station a road away on Kent Road.

“Randy’s dedication will serve as an incentive to each one of us,” Cooper said. “Both will be sorely missed.”

A GoFundMe has been established to help the family and the three kids. More than $12,000 has been raised so far. (Click here for more information.)

A meal train has also been set up, and community members have committed to providing meals through mid-October with more openings available after that. (Click here for more information.)

Kendall will also be accepting nonperishable food items, cash donations, toiletries and cleaning products at the Concession Hut at home soccer games until Sept. 30. T-shirts for $10 will also be for sale during homecoming on Sept. 30, with proceeds going to the family.

Carlton Fire Chief Dwayne Tinkous said the deaths of Randy and Becky Harrier are a tragedy for the community.

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