Our Good Friend and Brother Darrayle

April 30, 2016

gv_may-2016_prosserCaptain Darrayle Prosser was assigned to FS 77 and came to work one morning not feeling well. He was transported to the hospital, and after initial treatment and several days of testing Darrayle was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors told him and his family that the cancer could be treated but not cured.

Darrayle spent an entire year off duty IOD, most of that time going to City of Hope for treatment. The doctors there did everything possible to fight the cancer and give Darrayle more time to spend with his family. He finally retired on a service pension to devote as much time as possible to them.

His wife Karen and their three adult children, Neal, Ryan and Marla, dealt with the news and they spent time together going on trips and making the most of everyday. Darrayle’s sister Debbie also joined the family on many of the trips and took her brother to the City of Hope for most of his treatments.

On one of my visits I asked Darrayle if there was anything he would like to do while he was still feeling well. He said that he would like to go fishing. I contacted Bill Simentle (well known in fishing circles) and Tim Foor to see if they could assist in making this request a reality. Bill asked if Darrayle wanted to catch lots of bass and trout or take a chance and go for something really big. Darrayle said “Let’s go big or go home” and that’s exactly what happened.

We all met at a one of Bill’s secret locations, and along his good friend and fishing counterpart Robby, they gave us all some insight on what we could be in for. Two lines loaded with bait were launched as far as could be thrown off the ocean shore line . . . and then we waited. It didn’t take long until Darrayle was reeling in the first one of the many catches he made in the several trips we all made over the next year and half. He caught several bat rays and multiple sharks, some weighing over 200 lbs. Darrayle had a grin from ear to ear on each catch, waiting to see what was going to be on the end of the line.

Darrayle was finally told by the doctors that there was nothing more they could do for him, and to go home and get his affairs in order. Two weeks later on March 2, 2016, Darrayle took his last breath while his wife and daughter were holding his hands and with the rest of the family present.

On March 16, 2016, a celebration of life service was conducted for Darrayle. Family members, friends and co-workers, 200 plus in attendance, gathered to honor a man who lived a full life in his short 56 years on this earth.

All in attendance heard from multiple speakers with the similar description of a man they knew in different seasons of his life. You heard the same words over and over describing a man who loved others and put the needs of others before his own. Darrayle was a loving son, brother, friend, husband, father and more to all that had the privilege of knowing him. He was admired and respected by all ranks of the LAFD. His knowledge, skills and work ethic were the standard for us all to follow.

God bless you my brother and I look forward to the day when I will see you and that big grin of yours in our eternal home with our Heavenly Father. Rest assured my brother that your legacy will be remembered for many generations to come.

By Chaplain Roger Fowble

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