Excerpts from fox32chicago.com:

Chicago FD Lt. Kevin Ward was remembered Wednesday by his colleagues and family during a funeral ceremony that took place in the heart of Chicago, shutting down Michigan Avenue for several hours and giving the public a chance to share in the sorrow and take a beat to honor the respect and sacrifice of someone who died fighting a fire for the city.

Ward died after battling a house fire on the Northwest Side. He had been hospitalized for 17 days and was unable to breathe on his own. He died on Aug. 28th at 58 years old.

He was celebrated Wednesday for his many specialized careers and hobbies. He was a devoted public servant for 26 years. 

There was a walking procession on Michigan Avenue Wednesday morning. The Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Corps led and fire engines followed. One of them was draped in purple and black bunting and carried the casket. Ward’s gear was positioned on the front of that engine.

New firefighters stood with flags in the streets, creating a corridor of honor for the procession. The bagpipe music filled Michigan Avenue as tourists and locals watched the casket, draped in the Chicago flag, moved inside Fourth Presbyterian Church with military precision.

Ward’s family spoke during the funeral service. His former wife talked about how he always had very physically demanding hobbies. He was a glass-blowing artist, a scuba diver, a rescue diver. He even played underwater hockey. Ward had a trained respiratory system for all these interests, but in the end, it was his breathing that ultimately failed him.

Walenda said that Ward loved the Gold Coast church where his funeral took place, saying he believed it represented community and it was what a Chicago church ought to be.