New Widows of Hotshot Firefighters

My heart has been very heavy with sorrow for the 10 young widows of the Prescott, AZ Hotshot Firefighters.  All of these ladies are in their 20’s and early 30’s. The above was yesterday’s scene as each of their husbands were being transported from Phoenix back to Prescott.  It’s been a week since these men lost their lives and their wives have yet to lay their bodies to rest.  We as widows know some of the emotions that they are feeling whether it be complete numbness or disbelief.  Yet, there are other emotions that we may not know because of the way that they died and how they all died together.  Not only have these ladies lost their husbands, but they lost all of their husbands’ closest friends and firemen family.

I am going to list the names of each of these new widows and would like for my widow readers to take a name and make a commitment to pray specifically for that particular lady.

Claire Caldwell (husband Robert) – Just got married November 2012; 5 year old step-son

Amanda Marsh (husband Eric) – No children

Stephanie Turbyfill (husband Travis) – 2 little girls that adored their Daddy

Roxanne Warneke (husband Billy) – Roxanne is expecting their first child in December

Juliann Ashcraft (husband Andrew) – 3 young sons and one little daughter

Desiree Steed (husband Jesse) – 1 young son and one little daughter

Marsena Thurston (husband Joe) – 2 young sons

Kristi Witted (husband Clayton) – no children

Krista Carter (husband Travis) – 1 young son and one little daughter

There are 4 other special ladies who need your prayers as well:

Tiffany (Girlfriend of Anthony Rose) – Pregnant with his daughter and due in October)

Leah Fine (Engaged to Grant McKee)

Alicia Owens (engaged to Wade Parker)

Heather Kennedy (Scott Norris’s girlfriend)

To read each firefighter’s story, you can go to

The following 3 people need much prayer as they have been and will be the ones to continue ministering to each and every one of the widows long after people go back to their normal lives:

Darrell and Judy Willis – Darrell is the Fire Chief of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.  He trained many of these brave young men.  He and Judy thought of them as their own children throughout the years.  Darrell was one of those who spent the night with the bodies and prayed for them through that first night.  He is going to be speaking tomorrow at their Memorial Service which will be televised from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. MST.  Darrell’s wife Judy has been assigned to work with the widows of the firefighters.

Kathy Beard – Kathy became a widow almost 5 years ago and is the author of the book INTO THE MIST which tells her widow story.  Six of the Hotshot firefighters attended her church there in Prescott.  Kathy has a heart for widows and is best friends with Darrell and Judy Willis.  She will be helping to minister as well.

17 responses

  1. Candy, thank you for sharing this information. I will be praying for them, asking the Lord to sustain them as they begin this journey that none of us asked to take in life.


  2. I’m lifting each one of these precious widows and their families up in prayer. You are right we cannot comprehend what they are feeling due to the nature of how they lost their beloveds. My loss was a battle of brain cancer and I had no sweet little ones at home. My heart goes out to them and I will pray for each one today and as the days progress. I pray for those who will be there to minister and counsel them. I know that The Lord is right there beside each one of them cradling them in his loving arms as they go through this. My heart hurts for these young widows. May The Lord give them strength today as these firemen are laid to rest.


    • Thank you so very much for praying for everyone not only today but in the hard days ahead. To think that after today’s memorial service then begin the individual funerals. I cannot even imagine it.


  3. Candy, Thank you for providing all this specific information on the widows and children. Recognizing their horrible losses and grief honors them and the men they tragically lost. Thank you for this heart-felt effort. Love, Susan


  4. You are welcome, Susan. The memorial service today was just full of God’s presence. Now there will be 12 funerals tomorrow and the other 7 sometime the rest of this week. What grief!


  5. Leah is a close family friend – thank you so much for thinking of her and the other ladies. You have such a lovely community here. Your kindness and prayers are very much appreciated.


    • Thank you for telling me that Leah is a close friend. My heart goes out to her. She has lost her dreams. There are many widows and people she doesn’t know who are praying for her. Thank you so much for your kind words.


  6. I will pray for all but would like to have extra prayers for Leah. My heart goes out to each of them as the years ahead will be difficult. I too became a widow at the age of 21 with a small baby. This was back during the Viet Nam War and I made only with the help of friends and family. My heart goes out to all.


    • Thank you so much for your prayers for all, Dianna, and especially for Leah. I am told that she is a very quiet, sweet young lady. She will need much prayer in the days of her grief journey ahead as you well know.


  7. I wanted to thank you all so much for all of your prayers but especially for the prayers for my daughter Leah. She is trying so hard to, as she says, live my life the way that Grant would want me to. She has made friends through this tragedy with some of the other wives and I pray for them all.


    • Joni, thank you for taking the time to tell us a little about Leah. I have wondered about each of these women and how they are coping. Leah’s grief is full of so many lost dreams and things that she never got to experience in a marriage. I cannot imagine how heartbreaking and painful that must be for her. Someday if she would ever want to, I would love for her to email me and share her love story (


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