Friends of a Camden firefighter who died suddenly Tuesday while attending a conference in Texas have started a fund to help her husband, a Clarendon County Sheriff's deputy, with funeral expenses.
Katie Iseman, 31, wife of Deputy Jonathan Chase Iseman, was just 31 years old and leaves behind her husband and two daughters.
She was with the Charlotte-Fire Thompson Fire Department in Camden at the time of her death. Along with being a first responder, she was a volunteer with various foster animal rescues.
"All of us at the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons Inc. are saddened to hear of the sudden passing of one of our wonderful foster parents," reads a statement on the ARF Facebook page. "Katie Iseman worked with Fostering Foster Animal Rescue, our partner in South Carolina. She was a firefighter, married to a policeman, and they and their two little daughters recently fostered Rusty, just adopted at our Long Island's Best event last Saturday."
"We can only hope her girls are comforted by the memory of what a wonderful and compassionate friend to animals their mom was," the ARF statement continued. "Our hearts and prayers go out to Katie's family for their tragic loss."
The South Carolina State Firefighters Association also released a statement on social media.
"We have lost a great friend and valued colleague," the association posted on its Facebook page. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and co-workers of Katie Iseman."
Born in Camden, Iseman was the daughter of Escol Gillard Ard Jr. and Jennifer Lee McLeod Ard. A 2003 graduate of Lugoff-Elgin High School, she received her bachelor's degree in fire science from the University of Maryland. She was a firefighter for Charlotte Thompson Fire Dept. and municipal coordinator at the State Fire Academy and a former law enforcement officer.
Iseman was the first female firefighter for the city of Camden.
"Katie's passion for serving her community was expressed through her volunteer service at Charlotte Thompson Fire Department," said a spokesman for the Kershaw County Fire Service.
Survivors besides her husband include two daughters, Laken Elizabeth Iseman and Riley Alice Iseman; a sister, Stephanie Beam (Jonathan) of Camden; a brother, Kevin Ard (Kimberly) of Camden; her father- and mother-in-law, Johnnie and Susan Iseman; a brother-in-law, Lance Iseman (Jessica); several nieces and nephews, Hailey Beam, Kennedy Beam, Pasiley Beam, Kayson Ard, Kanaan Ard, Kealin Ard, Keiting Ard, Jason Iseman and Mandy Iseman; and several special family members, Tim and Carlene Glenn and Carl Lee Gleen.
Funeral services will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at First Baptist Church in Camden, with burial following in Salem Methodist Church cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, prior to services, at the church, and other times at the Ard home, 4569 Jamestown Road in Camden.
Memorials may be made to Fostering Foster Animal Rescue, 1718 Kennedy Drive, Camden, SC 29020.
You may sign the family's guest book at www.powersfueralhome.net.
To aid with funeral expenses, visit www.gofundme.com/2q58tbg.