CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)– Those who knew and loved Chesterfield Firefighter Alicia Monahan prepared to lay her to rest Thursday after taking part in a cross-state procession to bring her remains back to Virginia. First responders traveled with flashing lights and heavy hearts, making a precious delivery they wish they didn’t have to make.

Monahan’s colleagues brought her body back from North Carolina after an emotional week. She died Saturday, June 25, while off duty teaching a swift water rescue training course on the Nantahala River in North Carolina.

Throughout the week those who knew the 41-year-old mother of two shared their memories of who she was. Her sons’ teacher, Heather Andre, said that Monahan was an inspiration.

“Knowing Alicia and watching her work gave me even a deeper respect for the firefighting community and the search and rescue community,” Andre said.

Justin Noel was a close friend who remembered Monahan’s diligence in her professional career, and when helping out with her children’s stage plays.

“We were having to pull stuff off the stage really quickly. This is heavy stuff, not easy to move. There was this set of stairs. I look over, Alicia goes and grabs it by both sides and lifts it up in the air. There was a group of men just standing around,” Noel said, describing Monahan’s enthusiasm to help others.

Monahan’s unexpected death has deeply affected the Chesterfield community but Chesterfield Fire Chief Loy Senter said the best way to honor her, is to live the way she lived.

“It’s been devastating to those members. They also know they have to keep forging ahead just as Alicia would do,” said Senter.

The memorial service for Monahan is Saturday, July, 2 at 10 a.m. at The Outlook At Saddle Ridge in Chesterfield.