GREG PICKARD MEMORIAL FUND
The citizens of Italy wish to honor the memory of fallen firefighter Greg Pickard who grew up Gladiator where he learned the value of community and to care for others. Greg died from injuries sustained in a fire in Bryan, Texas, on February 15th, when he and two other firemen answered a call from fellow fireman, Eric Wallace, who radioed he was trapped in the burning building.
After entering the inferno, Greg became trapped with the others when the roof collapsed. Wallace died at the scene, but Greg and the other two firefighters were taken to Galveston, Texas, to the University of Texas Medical Branch Burn Unit where Pickard later died at the age of 54. The other two firemen are still recovering from the severe injuries they sustained.
Greg is the son of Carla and Bob Pickard, longtime residents of Italy. He attended Italy schools most of his youth and graduated from Italy High School in 1977. He married his wife Susie in 1980 in Italy, and they moved to College Station, Texas, to attend Texas A&M. Greg soon joined the Bryan Fire Department and, ultimately, became a Lieutenant. He had a stellar 32-year career as a Bryan Fire Department and was held in high regard by his fellow firemen, many stating that he had helped them so much throughout their careers.
He devoted his life to serving and helping anyone in need. Greg was truly a good son, brother, husband, father and grandfather and friend and set an example for us all. We are indeed proud that Greg was once a citizen of Italy and is one of our true hometown heroes.
With cooperation from the City of Italy and assistance from the First Baptist Church of Italy, a memorial fund has been created in Greg’s memory with the goal being to mount a plaque in Italy’s newly constructed downtown pavilion commemorating Greg’s life and service as a Bryan Firefighter.
Any funds raised that exceed the costs of purchase and installation of the plaque will be used for a scholarship for an Italy graduate to attend fire training school. There is currently no scholarship in place for our youth who aspire to become firefighters. The scholarship would continue to be awarded in the future if funds remain available.
Much could be said about how many firemen have come from Italy through the years that are serving various communities and about Italy’s own Volunteer Fire Department. This type of scholarship is long overdue and a great way to ensure Greg’s memory.
Greg is survived by Susie, his devoted wife of 32-years; son, Jacob; daughter, Robin and her husband, Michael Carpenter and three grandchildren, Caroline, Wade and Catherine.
He is also survived by his proud parents, Robert and Carla Pickard of Italy, Texas; brother, Barry Pickard and wife, Kristy of Maypearl; sister, Natalie Beck and husband, Gerald also of Maypearl; sister, Sharla Cleaver and husband, Alan of Waxahachie and numerous nieces and nephews.
Donations can be made to the Greg Pickard Memorial Fund by making a deposit to the Fund at First State Bank in Italy, and at Citizens National Bank in Italy, or at any of the branches of either bank. Donations may also be mailed to the Greg Pickard Memorial Fund, c/o Ann Byers, 212 Richards Street, Italy, Texas 76651.
Thank you all for donating to the Fund and helping to honor Lieutenant Gregory Wade Pickard, Station No. 5, Bryan, Texas and a 1977 graduate of Italy High School.