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'A legacy': Copperas Cove family helping firefighters in honor of late son

Posted at 8:47 AM, Mar 21, 2023

COPPERAS COVE, Texas — At a very young age, Jose Negrete knew helping others was his life's mission, and became a firefighter and paramedic for the Copperas Cove Fire Department.

"[He said] I do not want to go to college, I do not want to go to university, I want to do something useful and productive for my community, I want to make a difference," his mother, Maria Negrete said.

He served for more than four years until July 28th, 2020; Jose Negrete died due to complications of lymphoma.

"And the hardest part being his mom, it was having Covid in the area at the time, we couldn't go see him, everything was very restrictive so the time that we spent with him was very limited," Maria said.

Hundreds of people supported the Negrete family as they said their last goodbyes. His family witnessed the impact their loved one had in such a short time.

"Firefighters are special, to begin with, but then when you have someone like Jojo, who is sincere and humble and who is self-less, you know it was a huge loss," Academic Advisor for Texas A&M University-Central Texas and close family friend, Yvonne Imergoot said.

The Negrete family is making it their mission to keep Jose's passion for helping others by creating The Negrete Firefighter Foundation.

In January 2022, the foundation was about to send three recruits to the Fire Academy in Killeen on a full scholarship.

This year, 2023, they were able to send two.

"He had to have had a purpose in this life and in order for him to have a purpose, to have a legacy, but not just a legacy, a legacy of being a fire-fighter what does it mean to be a firefighter and what you have to do, and I wanted to do this foundation in his honor," Maria said.

They hope to continue to help others make a difference in their communities just like he did.

For more information on The Negret Firefighter Foundation INC, you can visit their Facebook here or call directly at 254-394-4313.