Fort Osage assistant fire chief Harold Hollingsworth laid to rest

LEXINGTON, Mo. - Hundreds of friends, family members and firefighters packed the gymnasium at Lexington High School Friday afternoon to say goodbye to a man who spent his life saving others.

Harold Hollingsworth, 47, died Sunday night. He was the assistant fire chief for the Fort Osage Fire Protection District and was on his way to a house fire in Sibley when his SUV ran off the road and hit a tree. The Missouri State Patrol believes slick conditions created by rain caused the crash.

Tim Brown, one of Hollingsworth's fellow firefighters, spoke at length about his fallen friend.

"Under the most stressful conditions, if there are any weaknesses, that's usually when they're exposed and I couldn't see any in Harold," Hollingsworth said. "Harold was an uncommon man who used common sense as his guide."

Hollingsworth was a firefighter for 25 years. He started in his lifelong home of Lexington before working with Fort Osage in Jackson County for the past 16 years. He began as a firefighter and paramedic before his promotion to assistant chief in 2011.

Hollingsworth stayed busy in his hometown, serving on the Lexington School Board for six years, volunteering with the Boy Scouts and coaching youth sports.

Brown said Hollingsworth's top priority was his family. He was married to his wife, Allison, for 22 years and had two grown sons, Nathan and Matthew.

"In life, Harold touched more lives than he could ever imagine," Brown told people at the funeral. "But just look around. In death, he continues to touch even more."

Hollingsworth was buried at Macpelah Cemetery in Lexington. Dozens of fire trucks from neighboring towns led the procession to Hollingsworth's burial.

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