Newlywed firefighter 'had the biggest grin'

Posted at 12:27 AM, Dec 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-30 03:26:23-05

SHARONVILLE, Ohio -- Some couples are married for years until parted by death; some have a far shorter time.

From the first day of their lives together to the last, Patrick Wolterman and his bride were given just a few months.

Wolterman died early Monday morning; hired by the Hamilton Fire Department not long before his May wedding date, he entered a burning home on Pater Avenue because he and other firefighters were told an older couple may be trapped inside.

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Wolterman fell through a floor into the home's basement and later passed away.

He was 28.

But captured in time, through photos, are loving moments from a late spring day, when Patrick Wolterman married Bre, now a young widow.

Hicks remembers the joy on Patrick Wolterman's face when he saw his bride.

“He was just so awesome about going around and doing all these pictures," photographer Laura Hicks said, "even though he probably didn’t want to do any of them."

She recalled the joy on Wolterman's face when he saw Bre on their wedding day, held at Germania Park in Colerain Township.

"When he turned around to see her for the first time, he was just -- he had the biggest grin all over his face, and you could just tell how much he was in love with her and how much he cared about her and how important that day was to them," Hicks said.

She's been talking this week with Wolterman's family, who gave her permission to share some of the wedding photos. She's proud of her job telling stories by documenting emotions that can transcend time.

"His family was just the most amazing family. Together, they just loved, they just loved with all their heart. And they're fun and silly and goofy, and Patrick embodied all of that," Hicks said.

By all accounts, Wolterman was hard-working, dedicated to the fire service and to helping others.

Wolterman on his wedding day. Photo courtesy Laura Hicks Photography

Hicks said she's glad she had the privilege of documenting a day in Wolterman's life, one of his happiest days, knowing how important the photos will be to his family in the years to come.

And she hopes others see what she saw on that spring day, just a few months ago.

"I just wanted the world to be able to see how awesome he is -- not just as a hero, but who he is as a person," she said.

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A public memorial service is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday at Princeton Pike Church of God, 6106 Princeton Glendale Road. Afterward, there will be a procession to Spring Grove Cemetery followed by a private graveside service.

Wolterman's funeral mass is scheduled for Wednesday evening but is not open to the public.

Hamilton City Manager Joshua Smith said donations in support of Wolterman's family can be made at First Financial Bank.