Hundreds of people, including first responders from all over the nation, flocked to Gardendale First Baptist on Monday to pay respect to Kimberly Police Officer Nick O’Rear.
O’Rear, 33, died last week after he was shot during a pursuit with a suspect. That suspect is being held without bond at the Jefferson County Jail.
O’Rear had been an officer at Kimberly for approximately a year and had been paired with a narcotics canine late last year.
Speakers at the funeral remembered O’Rear’s willingness to help and get involved in the community, as a police officer, but also as a firefighter and EMT. They also recalled his zest for life and his enthusiastic smile.
O’Rear is survived by his parents, girlfriend and children, Everlee and Briar, as well as son, Weston, who is due to be born in April. Family members have asked that donations be made to the family through the Kimberly Police and Fire Departments.
Following the service, the procession, full of emergency vehicles, traveled from Gardendale to Jefferson Memorial Gardens in Trussville.
Residents lined Highway 31 and local streets to pay honor to the procession as it went by. Due to some confusion about the route, many residents did not see the procession, but still stood in the rain to honor O’Rear and his family.
Local businesses also jumped in to help the family, showing support for the officer with blue ribbons adorning their doors and mailboxes and donating a portion of the proceeds from sales to the family. Ridouts of Gardendale handled the services at no cost, as they do with other line of duty deaths.
O’Rear’s obituary is as follows:
Nick is survived by his parents Daniel and Kelly O’Rear, sister, Ashley O’Rear Blankenship (Chad); his children Everlee Rae O’Rear, Briar Daniel O’Rear and Weston Nicholas Charles O’Rear; girlfriend, Brittany Chafin and daughter Katie; and his canine partner, Stella. Nick is also survived by his aunt Mickey O’Muse (John); uncle, Danny Bowen; aunt, Tammy O’Neal, aunt, Duska Powell and grandmother, Agnes O’Rear Jackson, cousins, Ronnie Bowen (Kristy), Jon Bowen (Tammy), Jay O’Rear (Holly), Tommy Powell (Stacy), Tara Glenn, Heather O’Neal, Jennifer VanHaasen (Xavier).
Nick is proceeded in death by grandparents Billy and Carolyn (Jo) Powell, grandfather George O’Rear Jr, aunt Carolyn Powell O’Rear and cousin Andy Bowen.
Nick was a graduate of St Clair County High School in 2006 Graduate of the Alabama Fire College – Tuscaloosa Graduate of the UAB EMT School Worked as a firefighter for the city of Margaret, Alabama and Branchville, Alabama. Graduate of Northeast Alabama Law Enforcement Academy, Class 174. Served as a Police Officer for Ashville, Alabama, Trafford, Alabama, a K-9 Officer for Kimberly, Alabama. Nick was always doing something. Not only did he serve as a police officer, he owned and operated Southern Lawn Care and Xtreme Pressure Washing LLC. He was a Ham Radio Operator. He was an ordained Minister and he married his sister Ashley and brother-in-law, Chad. Nick had so many accomplishments, when he put his mind to something, he did it. He always had a smile on his face, and it lit up a room. He never met a stranger. He had a big heart and he loved big. He was also quite the jokester, he always knew how to make you laugh.
A visitation occurred Monday, February 10, 2020 from 10 a.m. to noon, at Gardendale First Baptist Church, 316 Mountain Crest Parkway, Gardendale, AL 35071. The celebration of life service will occurred Monday, February 10, 2020 at 1 p.m. at Gardendale First Baptist Church, 316 Mountain Crest Parkway, Gardendale, AL 35071. A graveside service will occurred at Jefferson Memorial Gardens, 1591 Gadsden Hwy, Birmingham, AL 35235.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.ridoutsgardendalechapel.com for the O’Rear family.