Scott Allard, the Fridley firefighter who , was remembered at a Monday evening memorial service at St. Philip's Lutheran Church as a community-minded family man, fond of spending time outdoors and pranking friends.
About a dozen fire trucks were parked in respect outside the church as Allard, who was just a day from retirement at the time of his March 31 crash, was given a firefighter funeral that included a bell ceremony, presentation of the flag and eulogy by Fridley Fire Chief John Berg.
“I’ve come to realize the horror of small words, when placed together, like 'What' and 'If',” Allard’s daughter Tawny Zbanski said during the service. “What if it had been raining that day? What if mom had been with dad on that ride? What if things had been done differently? What if we were there? What if he was still here?”
Zbanski said her father was “quite the jokester,” recollecting water balloon and food fights, Slip ’N Slide sessions and playful wrestling matches.
“All my dad ever wanted to do was anything he could for anybody else,” she said.
Allard, born in Minneapolis in 1958 as the youngest of three children, moved to Fridley as a child.
He met his wife, Karen, while in middle school, and they married three years after his graduation from Fridley High School.
Allard worked in printing—at Color Aid, Type House and Shock Incorporated—in addition to the 18 years he spent with the Fridley Fire Department. (Allard’s son, Matt, works full-time at the Fridley Fire Department, and his daughters, Tawny and Nicole, are in the Fridley Flames auxiliary organization.)
In his free time, he enjoyed outdoor recreation, such as hunting, fishing, camping, grilling and riding his motorcycle.
Berg said Allard was active in the department’s community engagement programs, coordinated firefighter physical ability testing and trained in water rescue (he was a skilled water polo player).
“He responded to accidents, lift-assists, fires, floods, train derailments, and even after 17, 18 years of service, he continued to respond like it was his first day,” Berg said.