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Forever family: Last photos of fallen Sterling firefighter keep his memory alive

Photographer Mari Trancoso had shared the intimate photo album with Lt. Garrett Ramos just weeks before he died.

DIXON, Ill. — The Ramos family and many others throughout the City of Sterling are mourning the loss of Lt. Garrett Ramos, the Sterling firefighter who died while responding to a house fire late Friday night in Rock Falls. 

Although Garrett is no longer with them physically, recent photos of him, his wife and his two young girls allowed his image to live on.

Dixon photographer Mari Trancoso, who had photographed the family just weeks prior to the father's death, said she hopes these final images of Garrett provide some comfort.

 "I remember coming home from that session specifically because I was like, 'The dad in that session was so fun,' and you could just tell how much he loved his girls," Trancoso said.

What Mari didn't know was that the session the Ramos family did would become perhaps the last pictures the family would have without a member missing. Almost 100 images made up the final photo album. 

When Trancoso heard the news about the family's loss, she was overtaken by emotion and had to look back to shots from the special session.

"I was actually on my way home from another session and instantly just wept," Trancoso.

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She wanted to know if Garrett had the opportunity to see final edited photos she had shared with them, so she logged online to check. Thankfully, he did and had the chance to flag the ones that were his favorite.

"It was just kind of insane to see how he saw the session in his own eyes." Trancoso said. "A lot of them were of his little girls. Then, I went to his wife's favorited section. There were a lot of similar ones, but a lot of (her favorites) were of him."

Posted by By Mari Photography on Sunday, December 5, 2021

Trancoso said she hopes the young girls and their mother are able to cherish the intimate photos with Garrett forever.