A U.S. Forest Service firefighter who died July 21 after falling about 200 feet from a helicopter during a routine rappelling exercise in Willow Creek while he was assigned to fight the Backbone Fire will be laid to rest Thursday in Hayward.
A funeral service for Thomas “T.J.” Marovich Jr., 20, is at 10:30 a.m. at St. Clement’s Catholic Church.
Procession: Following the service, there will be a walking procession of more than 500 family members, friends and firefighters along Mission Boulevard from the church to the burial site at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
Flyover: The U.S. Forest Service helicopter that Marovich was assigned to will perform a fly-over.
Memorial Fund: In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Marovich may be sent to the Thomas D. Marovich Jr. Memorial Fund, 32124 Trevor Ave., Hayward, CA., 94544-7761. Donations will be used to annually send five members of the Fremont Fire Explorers to the California Fire Explorer Fire Academy. Marovich attended this camp when he was an Explorer with the Fremont Fire Department and also participated in the Fire Academy as an instructor.
Marovich, who worked for Modoc National Forest, was among about 500 firefighters battling the Backbone Fire near Willow Creek in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, which was started by lightning on July 1.
Marovich, a second-year wildland firefighting apprentice, was working with the Chester Helitack Crew from Lassen National Forest at the fire, a Forest Service spokeswoman has said.
He had moved to Adin, a tiny town along Highway 299 in Lassen County, four years ago from Hayward in the San Francisco Bay area.