By KEVIN NEVERS
Dozens of fire departments and numerous police departments
sent representatives on Monday to the funeral service of Warren “Skip”
Highwood, as citizens lined the procession route from St. Patrick Catholic
Church to Chesterton Cemetery to pay their last respects.
The procession paused briefly at the intersection of Broadway
and South Calumet Road for a broadcast of Highwood’s Final Alarm by Porter
County 911. The text of that broadcast: “Attention all Porter County
Agencies. This is the last alarm for Chesterton Fire Department Chief Warren
‘Skip’ Highwood. Chief Highwood answered his last alarm Jan. 22, 2009.”
“He faithfully served the department since 1962 and as chief
since 1990,” the broadcast continued. “The Chesterton Fire Department is
thankful for the years of service and leadership Skip has provided to the
community. We will miss you CFD 13, our brother, friend, and father.”
Highwood’s casket, flanked by pall bearers and preceded by an
honor guard, was carried on Engine 58, which in pausing for the Final Alarm
happened also to stop in front of the original town hall and CFD fire house,
built in 1902 after the Great Downtown Fire that year.
Highwood spent much of his youth in the old fire house—his
father Offley was a volunteer firefighter before him—but it is unclear
whether Highwood ever actually served in that facility. Sometime in 1962,
the same year Highwood joined the CFD, the department moved the fire house
to what is now the CPD station.
The funeral procession left St. Pat’s after 12 p.m. and made
its way down North and then South Calumet Road en route to the Chesterton
Cemetery, where—after burial and to the piping of “Amazing Grace”—there were
three helicopter flyovers: the first by Memorial Med flight out of South
Bend, the second by the Air Angels out of Bolingbrook, Ill., and the last by
the Indiana State Police.