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December 29, 2007

The Burbank Unified School District collectively mourned the untimely death of Austin Cook, an 11-year-old John Muir Middle School student, on Nov. 29.

Austin, a sixth-grader at Muir Middle School, died of a heart attack at about 2 p.m. after collapsing during a midmorning run in his physical education class.

Austin collapsed at about 10:30 a.m. when the class was running laps.

He was taken to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, where doctors tried to revive him.

The grieving process for the young boy, who was an athlete and a member of a local youth football team, went beyond his own campus and extended to Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, where he had attended before Muir Middle.

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A pancake breakfast was held Dec. 22 to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Division of Cardiology in Austin’s name.

Anthony S. Coy

Bob Hope Airport Fire Chief Anthony S. Coy died May 29 from an infection caused by strep throat.

He was 40.

Coy took his post as the airport’s chief during one of the darkest times for aviation safety employees and for the county — four days after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Rallying together with the airport police and other operations and safety staffers, he led his department in shutting down the Bob Hope Airport tarmac in the immediate wake of the attacks and beefing up security measures in the aftermath.

Hired in 1995 as a firefighter for the airport department, it was only three years before Coy was promoted to shift captain, and another year later he became fire chief.

Before his career in Burbank, he was in the Air Force for 12 years.

Even though he received offers to work in the benefits-heavy world of city firefighting throughout his career with the airport department, Coy stayed on the job and rose through the ranks at Bob Hope Airport.

An avid RV camper, surfer, skier and baseball fan, Coy loved the outdoors.

Lawrence Signey

The Rev. Lawrence Signey, who served as pastor at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, died March 10 at St. Joseph’s Medical Center after a brief illness caused by a kidney infection. He was 46.

Signey was known for being a mentor to numerous children at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic School. Before coming to St. Robert Bellarmine about five years ago, Signey served as pastor at St. Bede the Venerable Catholic Church in La Cañada Flintridge.

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