ARVADA, Colo. — Family, friends and the community gathered Monday to say goodbye to West Metro firefighter Dan Moran, who passed away Feb. 7 after a three-year battle with cancer.

"This is one of those things that we walk into and it's almost impossible not to be overwhelmed with sadness thinking about the loss of Dan," said Shawn Johnson, friend and lead pastor of Red Rocks Church. "If you [knew] Dan, you know this to be true. He would want this to be a celebration. He would want there to be more laughter than tears."

Moran, 50, was diagnosed with leukemia in June 2017. He retired in 2018 after serving 18 years as a firefighter and paramedic with the department.

"'Are you afraid?' I asked him," said Jeff Delgado, friend and colleague at West Metro Fire. "'A little,' he said. 'What bothers me the most is that my girls are going to lose their dad. I won't be there to give them away at their weddings. I won't be there for them anymore.' He was thinking of his family. He always was."  

Because his cancer was diagnosed while he was active with West Metro Fire, his death is considered to be in the line of duty.

"Dan retired in 2018, due to complications from job-related cancer," a tweet from West Metro Fire says. "During his time with us, he touched many lives and our community is better for Dan's service."

Moran is survived by his wife Jenn, and two daughters, Taylor and Madyson.

A memorial service for Moran was held Monday at Red Rocks Church at 7100 Wadsworth Blvd in Arvada. You can watch the full service in the video below. 

A procession before the service was limited to family and West Metro Fire Rescue, though the public was welcome to pay their respects along the route.

All West Metro Fire facilities will fly flags at half-staff until sunset Tuesday, Feb. 18.

"What an amazing man, what an amazing husband and what an amazing dad," Johnson said. "As one of the lucky people who got the chance to know him, I want to be more like him."

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