On Sunday Jan. 22, Fulton Assistant Fire Chief Jackie Mundine died after a three year long battle with stomach cancer.
“He was a huge loss to this department and he is going to be missed dearly,” Fulton Fire Chief Cody Morales said.
Mundine leaves behind friends and family, both within the department and outside of it.
“He was a true leader,” Russel Cole, the vice president of the Oysterfest Committee, said. “To know Jackie was to know that you had a friend.”
Cole, who was Mundine's cousin, grew up a street away from him and said they did everything together - fish, rider their bikes, Boy Scouts - they even joined their hometown's volunteer fire department, with Mundine joining in 1977.
Morales said, in his 45 plus years of service, Mundine took on every role at the station from firefighter, EMT, assistant fire chief and fire chief.
“He gained his Masters certification from the State Fire Marshal’s Association,” he said.
Cole said Mundine was also the fire marshal for Fulton for a few years.
“He would go out of the way to help you anybody,” Cole said. “He would also take anyone under his wing and teach you.”
Mundine was also an original organizer of the Fulton Oysterfest which is the largest fundraiser for the volunteer fire department. Colleagues said his dedication never changed.
“Roughly three years ago he was diagnosed with a stomach cancer,” Morales said. "He never let it phase him. And when the doctor said we can’t help you, he was researching more trials. He didn’t take no for an answer.”
It was a career he held very close to his heart and continued doing even through rigorous treatment.
“He (was) the backbone of this department and what we are today,” Morales said. "(It) was everything to him, and even up until last week, he came to a meeting."
It’s a tough thing to think about for the people he loved and left behind.
“I don’t think it’s real,” Morales said. “I’m still waiting on a phone call from him to tell us what we need.”
A procession will be held this Friday, Jan. 27 at 9 a.m. and will depart the Charlie Marshall Funeral Home at 814 East Main St. in Rockport.
People who would like to take part are asked to be there by 8:30 a.m.
The procession will be passing by Fulton Beach Rd., the Oyster Fest grounds and up Chaparral Street to his family’s property. It will be escorted to the Fulton main station where a visitation will be held immediately after until 9 p.m.
Then on Saturday, a memorial service will be held inside the fire station a 10:30 a.m. The services are open to the public. His family asked instead of flowers, donations be sent to the Fulton Volunteer Fire Department at P.O Box 503 Fulton, TX 78358.
Morales said Mundine left behind a legacy he wished people would carry on.
“Join your local volunteer fire department,” Morales said. “We meet every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. We’re always looking for volunteers.”
Morales said it’s what Mundine would have wanted.
“Come in, step up, do the part," Morales said. "Help your community because that’s who he was."