A beloved lieutenant with the Davenport Fire Department has passed away.
Lt. Mark Kakert, 55, died on Wednesday, May 18, 2016, after a heart attack. Fellow firefighters say he was passionate about safety education and making a positive impact in the community.
Lt. Kakert worked as the department's public education officer. However, Davenport Fire Chief Lynn Washburn said that it was more than just a job title.
"It wasn't just a mission for him, it was truly a passion," she said. "He had a way of reaching out to young and old and everyone in between, and really making a positive impact on their lives."
Lt. Kakert was perhaps the most-recognized member of the fire department. He was often spotted serving seniors at the CASI holiday dinner, walking in parades, or hosting fire demonstrations for students.
Washburn said Lt. Kakert not only helped educate people, but got them excited about safety. His work fell right in line with the fire department's mission; placing focus on education and prevention first.
Lt. Kakert started at the Davenport Fire Department nearly 30 years ago.
"We can't thank him enough -- and his family, obviously, for their support -- but for the countless lives that, through his education work, that he saved in this community," said Mayor Frank Klipsch.
Kakert's visitation will be on Sunday from 2-6 p.m. at Runge Mortuary in Davenport. The funeral will be 10 a.m. on Monday, May 23, 2016, at St. Anthony's Catholic Church.
As the department is mourning, neighboring safety departments and members of the community have offered condolences, as well.