Friends, family, fellow Marietta firefighters honor Ron Herens


It was the up-to-no-good look in his eye.

That’s the thing folks mentioned most Wednesday during the celebration of life ceremony for Ron Herens, the Marietta firefighter killed by a suspected drunk driver while on vacation in Los Angeles.

The April 10 wreck killed the 23-year-old and injured two other Marietta firemen — Dillon Guest and Doug Blanchard — in the car with him.

Watch the entire hourlong memorial

The city streamed the event online so Herens’ international friends and family could watch, just like they did for the processional Saturday when his body arrived back at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Hundreds gathered inside Trinity Chapel in Powder Springs about 2 p.m. to honor Herens.

They told stories like when he was caught smoking a cigar in his bedroom at age 13. (His father made him smoke the rest.)

Vacationing Marietta firefighter killed by suspected drunk driver

Or when he got kicked off his school bus and was forced to ride his bicycle to school, which family said may have sparked a love of motorcycles.

Marietta fire’s Chief Jackie Gibbs spoke about interviewing Herens four years ago.

“His work ethic came right through talking to him,” Gibbs said.

Trending in Cobb: Video shows Cobb student’s drowning death through his eyes; mom sues

But he recognized something else in the young man: “Behind those eyes, he was always up to something.”

His girlfriend Rosa Campos detailed the intense loss she now feels.

“He was my first love, and told me I was his,” she said.

She remembers how smitten she was during their first date at Stone Mountain. They talked for hours.

Campos admitted to the crowd she was “that girlfriend,” constantly posting long, mushy Facebook posts about how happy he made her.

Gallery: Scenes from the Marietta firefighter's memorial

“I always dreamed of a man like him. He was everything I wanted,” she told the crowd. “We both knew we wanted to be together forever.”

Campos recounted the last time she saw Herens.

They’d already said goodbye, but as he was pulling out of the driveway, she waved him down, jumped on the side of his truck and kissed him one last time.

“I’m so happy I did that.”

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