Fallen firefighter's widow speaks

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Lisa Johnstone talked about her late husband Gary. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Lisa Johnstone talked about her late husband Gary. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
was a founding member of the Phoenix Honor Guard Bagpipe and Drum Band. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) was a founding member of the Phoenix Honor Guard Bagpipe and Drum Band. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Gary's corneas, along with tissue, were donated to at least 24 people in need. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Gary's corneas, along with tissue, were donated to at least 24 people in need. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Gary's most proudful career moment was being the bagpipe major at the Yarnell 19 memorial. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Gary's most proudful career moment was being the bagpipe major at the Yarnell 19 memorial. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
ANTHEM, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A fallen Phoenix firefighter's widow spoke on Sunday about her late husband's lasting impact on the community.

"He was very fit. Very strong. He was like an ox," Lisa Johnstone said about Gary Johnstone.

One August morning in 2014, her beloved husband Gary was out rappelling with her son and two friends when he fell to his death off of Echo Canyon on Camelback Mountain.

"I left the hospital. I needed to come hope to tell my son his dad had died," Lisa said.

Gary was more than a Phoenix firefighter. He was a founding member of the Phoenix Honor Guard Bagpipe and Drum Band. He'd done hundreds, maybe thousands of Amazing Graces.

"I was blind but now I can see, those beautiful blue eyes and he still is giving," Lisa said.

Gary's corneas, along with tissue, were donated to at least 24 people in need.

"I don't know what seeing his eyes but just know, good grief, I absolutely love it," Lisa said.

Gary's most proudful career moment was being the bagpipe major at the Yarnell 19 memorial. Hundreds of people poured in from across the country.

Hundreds also came to honor him when his sudden departure left Lisa and her three boys holding onto beautiful memories with the strong ox.

"My beloved with no dates because thanks to the donor network, he still gives, always giving," Lisa said, pointing to an urn. 

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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