VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Firefighters at Prairieton Volunteer Fire Department are honoring a recently deceased comrade and asking for the public’s help to show appreciation during a funeral procession this week.

Last week, 74-year-old David Phelps passed away of a reported heart attack while at the scene of a house fire. Phelps had served as a firefighter for 59 years, and was named the 2023 Mr. IVFA earlier this year.

While visitation and funeral services have been announced for Tuesday and Wednesday, firefighters have set up a special memorial display at the Prairieton Fire Department where locals can stop by, take pictures, leave flowers or a message, or simply pay their respects.

  • An image showing a firefighting pickup truck set up as a memorial to fallen firefighter Dave Phelps. The truck has a rack with black curtains mounted to the front with a wreath and picture of Phelps displayed.
  • A close up of the photo of fallen firefighter Dave Phelps displayed on the front of a firetruck memorial.
  • A close up of the wreath displayed on the front of fallen firefighter Dave Phelps' former department pickup truck.
  • An image of the Prairieton Fire Department's sign with a black ribbon and cloth draped across it in honor of recently fallen firefighter Dave Phelps
  • A close up image of the Prairieton Fire Department pickup truck once used by fallen firefighter Dave Phelps, showing the Prairieton logo on the drivers side door.

In addition to the memorial display, residents are asked to help show support for the funeral by lining the procession route to pay respects to Phelps and his loved ones as they travel from Debaun Funeral Home to New Harmony Cemetery.

The funeral is scheduled to be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, officials said its expected that the procession will leave the home to head for the cemetery at 11:30 a.m., but the department will announce the start of the procession that day on their Facebook page.

The route will run from Debaun Funeral Home, at 85 E Springhill Dr., and head west on Springhill until reaching S.R. 63 where the procession will turn southbound. Once in Prairieton, the procession will turn onto Hotel Street, passed the firehouse and then loop back to S.R. 63 from Kennett Drive and head south to the New Harmony Cemetery.

For more information regarding Phelps, including visitation and funeral times and locations visit his obituary page online here.