Celebration of life service honors longtime Virginia Beach firefighter Michael Painter

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A celebration of life was held Thursday for a longtime Virginia Beach firefighter who died suddenly last month.

Master Firefighter Michael Painter died on June 24 after suffering a heart attack. He was 60 years old.

Painter was a member of the Virginia Beach Fire Department for 33 years, and served as an assistant fire marshal the past few years.

Friends told 10 On Your Side Painter loved being a firefighter.

The service was held Thursday afternoon at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Chopper 10 was overhead for the procession.

His casket arrived on a fire engine and an American flag hung high between two ladders outside.

“Mike is one of the most beloved firefighters in the history of the Virginia Beach Fire Department and I mean that — there’s no doubt about it,” Fire Chief David Hutcheson said from inside the service.

Colleagues tolled the bell to signal Painter’s last alarm and said “Job well done.”

Painter is survived by his wife and four children.

The family requests those who wish to should make donations to Vigilant Watch or the Virginia Beach Honor Guard Association in support of Painter’s love for the Virginia Beach Fire Department.

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