‘Live Gracefully’: Botetourt County Fire & EMS remember retired captain who died of breast cancer

Helen ‘Gracey’ Humbert’s memorial service was held Wednesday

BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – Helen “Gracey” Humbert spent most of her life serving others. On Wednesday, friends and family honored her with a memorial service in Troutville on Wednesday.

Humbert died last week after a long battle with breast cancer.

“Her campaign that we used to fundraise and support was called ‘Fight Gracefully,’ and certainly that is one of the things that everybody can rally around right now is that all the way through she fought with grace and determination,” said Botetourt County Fire & EMS Chief Jason Ferguson.

Humbert was a retired firefighter and paramedic who started at Roanoke Fire-EMS before working her way up the ranks at Botetourt County Fire & EMS. There, she earned the rank of captain.

“Gracey had that extra touch, that something special, that’s hard to describe. But part of what we’re looking for when looking for supervisors to oversee our folks is somebody that can connect with people and care about people and take care of people,” he added.

Humbert’s memory lives on in the firehouse. The upcoming Girls’ Fire Camp, an initiative to encourage more women to enter the profession, will be dedicated in her honor.

“I was able to let her know that before her passing. And she was very grateful and honored to know her legacy would be remembered in that way.”

As loved ones reflect on all the lives she touched, Chief Ferguson hopes they’ll take away her biggest message: to “live Gracefully.”

About the Author:

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.