'He loved to serve': Friends, family mourn fallen Chicago Fire Department Lt. Tchoryk at funeral

Lt. Jan Tchoryk died while responding to Gold Coast fire and was one of 2 firefighters who died in the line of duty last week

ByJessica D'Onofrio, Liz Nagy, and Christian Piekos WLS logo
Friday, April 14, 2023
Chicago Fire Lt. Jan Tchoryk funeral
Chicago Fire Lt. Jan Tchoryk funeral

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mourners gathered Thursday for the funeral of one of two Chicago firefighters who died in the line of duty last week.

Firefighters from across the country and Chicagoland said goodbye to husband, father and Navy veteran Lieutenant Jan Tchoryk.

Lt. Tchoryk collapsed and died while responding to a high-rise fire. He was a 26-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department and the second Chicago firefighter to die in the span of two days, making this even more painful for his colleagues.

His casket, draped in the American flag, was carried by Ladder 10, the truck on which he served to St. Joseph Ukrainian Church. His wife Natalia followed just steps behind.

"I will miss being able to see the way his face lit up when he talked about her and how he hoped to be able to split his time between here and Ukraine," his niece Laryssa Osyka said at his funeral.

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"I know Jan loved life and he loved adventure. Most importantly, he loved to serve," said Chicago Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt.

"He never panicked and he answered the bell without pause," James Davis, one of Tchoryk's colleagues at CFD.

One of the pallbearers was Lt. Tchoryk's son Dylan, a Chicago police officer. He gave his father one last salute in the church.

Tchoryk leaves behind his wife, his son, two daughters and a stepdaughter, along with his three sisters and his brother.

ALSO SEE: Firefighter Jermaine Pelt dies, 2 others injured in West Pullman, CFD says

His niece spoke during the service, along with two of his closest colleagues and Nance-Holt.

"Jan was many things. A son, a brother, husband, father, uncle, godfather and friend. To many he was also a comedian and boy was he a good one," Osyka said.

"I couldn't ask for a better partner. We had the same ideas on how to build this family." said Lt. Rick Florczak, Chicago Fire Department. "Jan, you're my friend and I'm going to miss you."

He was laid to rest at St. Nickolas Ukrainian Cemetery. At his graveside his family cradled his fire helmet and a Chicago flag, clinging to the last tangible pieces of the man they've now buried.

Nance-Holt said while this is the worst week of everyone's life, the department will get through it as a family.

Visitation to be held for fallen Chicago firefighter Jermaine Pelt

The Cook County Medical Examiner said the 55 year old suffered a heart attack while climbing the stairs to get to the fire.