Saying goodbye to a local hero

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GENOA, Neb. (Columbus News Team) Residents in a Central Nebraska town are mourning the loss a community leader.

Retired Genoa Volunteer Fire Department Chief and longtime Genoa resident James Lee Carlson, lost his battle to colon cancer on November 4th.

“Jim Carlson is one of the greatest guys,” says Mick Swanson. “[He had] a big heart. He would do anything for anybody.”

Chief Carlson’s funeral took place at the Genoa Fire Department Thursday afternoon in remembrance of the great man that he was.

Residents viewed the late chief departure from this world as a tremendous loss to his family and the community.

“He put in thousands of hours into this department over his lifetime,” adds Assistant Fire Chief Dave Jarecki. “We lost a very good man, a fireman, father, and grandfather; a brother and son and he will be deeply missed.”

Others will miss him for the laughs he provided.

“Jim had an excellent sense of humor,” says longtime business partner Allan Drozd. “Just a little over a month ago, he came up to the fire hall to the fire meeting with the fire chief and wanted to know if anybody needed shampoo because he had a lot and wasn’t going to need it.”

Chief Carlson is survived by his wife Diana, five daughters, his mother Ruth, two sisters, five brothers and six grandchildren.