Hero Who Saved Man, Pet From Area Fire As Teen Dies At Age 36: 'A True Friend'

Friends and loved ones are mourning the death of a man from the region who was once hailed as a hero for saving another man’s life.

Rensselaer High School graduate Jacob Waldron died in May 2023 at the age of 36.
Rensselaer High School graduate Jacob Waldron died in May 2023 at the age of 36. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view/Facebook via Jacob Waldron

Rensselaer County resident Jacob Waldron, of Rensselaer, died in May 2023 at the age of 36, according to his obituary. An exact date and cause of death was not given.

“It is with great sadness that Jake’s family announces the unexpected death of their beloved son and brother,” reads his memorial.

Waldron graduated from Rensselaer High School in 2005 and later attended Hudson Valley Community College.

In 2006, at the age of 19, the Rensselaer County Legislature commended him for saving the life of a man and his pet from a house fire “without regard for Jake’s personal safety,” his obituary said.

News of Waldron’s death triggered an outpouring of tributes on social media, including one Facebook user who remembered him as “kind, loving, and thoughtful.”

Another tribute on his online memorial wall wrote of Waldron saving their life on two different occasions.

“I wish with all my heart I could have done the same for you,” reads the post.

“Even in my darkest moments, you were a true friend, your support and encouragement were unwavering. I am healthy today because you never gave up on me.”

Waldron is survived by his mother Sandra Coote Waldron; sister Alyssa; and a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins, according to his obituary. He was predeceased by his father John Waldron.

Funeral services are scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, at the New Comer Funeral Home in Colonie.

A GoFundMe campaign to help pay for memorial expenses had raised nearly $4,000 of its $5,000 goal as of Tuesday, May 30.

Relatives said in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Waldron’s name can be made to the Nopiates Committee, a nonprofit organization based in West Sand Lake that seeks to raise awareness about drug addiction. 

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