For the third time this fall, firefighters from around the region and beyond will gather in Wilmington to say farewell to one of their own.
Senior Wilmington firefighter Ardythe Hope will be remembered in a public funeral and memorial service this Saturday at the Chase Center on the Riverfront. A public viewing will be held from 10 a.m. until noon, followed by a memorial service at 1 p.m.
Hope died on Thursday December 1 from injuries she suffered in a September arson fire. Two other Wilmington firefighters, Lt. Christopher Leach and Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes were also killed in that fire.
Before her death, Hope had met with Wilmington Fire Chief Anthony Goode and discussed her plans to retire in January. She was in the final stages of completing her nursing degree, with the goal of becoming a nurse in the new year. Hope was a single mother of three children.