The Edmond Sun

April 29, 2013

Edmond loses firefighter to cancer

Fundraiser game set for May 19

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — A beloved Edmond firefighter has died following a lengthy battle with cancer, an official said.

Fire Maj. Bill Brown said Edmond Fire Department officials learned Fire Capt. John Werhun died Saturday morning. Funeral plans, which are being finalized with the family, will include a private service and a full traditional fire department procession from the church to the grave site, Brown said.

Werhun and his wife Joyce, who have two daughters, attended the First Christian Church of Edmond.

In July 2008, Werhun was diagnosed with colon cancer. On March 27, Werhun posted on and expressed his appreciation for all of the support he’s been receiving from fellow first responders and the greater community including church friends. He wrote about planning for his funeral, seeing his body failing and the individuals pledging to help his family.

Sixth graders in Cashion dedicated a week of fundraising projects to help Werhun’s family pay mounting medical bills.

Edmond Public Schools scheduled a May 19 cops versus firefighters game, which evolved into a fundrasier for the Werhun family at the request of the Edmond Fire Department. Plans included donations for a silent auction (donated items are needed), having a donation bucket for the family during the game and involving booster clubs and the city’s high schools. Werhun’s oldest daughter was scheduled to throw out the first pitch. Todd Simpson, Edmond Memorial High School baseball’s booster club president, is a prime organizer. For more information, email Simpson at

In 2012, Werhun was named Firefighter of the Year by the Kiwanis Club of Edmond. At the time, he was a fire captain at Station 1, probably the busiest of the city’s five stations.

“It’s a day-to-day thing for him,” Lenz said at the time. “And he’s a role model. And he’s always a role model with enthusiasm. He’s excited about his work, excited about life.”

A fund has been established for the Werhun family. Financial donations can be made to the “John Werhun Family Support Fund” at any Citizens Bank of Edmond branch. | 341-2121