Fire captain was caretaker, 'best friend'
Posted December 28, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — Amid the tears Wednesday at the memorial service for a Raleigh fire captain, his family shared how he continues to touch their lives.
"He wasn't just a dad to me. He was my best friend," Cody Nipper said in eulogizing his father, Capt. Jonathan Scott Nipper. "The 16 years I got to know my dad were the greatest years I could ever ask for."
Nipper died Dec. 21 when he lost control of his car along a rain-slicked U.S. Highway 15 and collided with another vehicle. His 10-year-old daughter, Gracie, and the other driver were injured but survived.
Amy Nipper said she believes his actions saved their daughter's life.
"I feel like, in my heart, that he turned that car enough to take the brunt of the accident," she said during the memorial service. "I told her, 'Your daddy took the brunt of that accident for you because that's what daddies do.'"
After the wreck, Amy Nipper met with a grief counselor to discuss how to tell Gracie that her father is dead.
Cody Nipper said he and his father talked about everything, from girls to homework.
"I'm going to miss him. I love my dad," he said.
Uncle Chad Nipper praised his brother, saying, "He was a great father, and I hope I can help guide his wishes for you, Cody and Gracie."