Making a positive impact

A Nov. 2 fundraiser will honor the memory of Shane Brintlinger, a West Jefferson resident, firefighter and paramedic.

(Posted Oct. 25, 2019)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

From the time he was 3 years old, Shane Brintlinger knew he wanted to be a fireman. He had an outfit–a plastic hat, jacket, and boots–he wore so often it needed to be patched together with tape. As an adult, Shane realized his childhood dream, becoming a firefighter/paramedic and holding positions with the London, West Jefferson, Central Townships and Columbus fire departments.

He was passionate about athletics and fitness. He made his mark in sports at West Jefferson High School, from which he graduated in 2008, and carried that passion into his work, serving as a physical trainer for Columbus Fire Academy recruits.

Shane was a loving son and husband and a kind and thoughtful friend. Jolene Castle, his mother, described him as the “pied piper”–wherever he went, a host of friends would follow. Shane met his wife, Katie Jean, in college. They dated for almost nine years before getting married in late 2017. They loved to travel and spend time with friends and family.

These were the public facets of Shane’s life. Privately, he struggled with mental illness, and on March 3 of this year, he took his life.

“Shane struggled very, very privately for many years with his demons and many times, when things were very dark, I asked him, ‘Where are we, Shane?’ to which he always replied, ‘I would never hurt myself and do that to Katie and you.’ Like a fool, I believed him until the dreaded phone call from my beautiful daughter-in-law,” Jolene said.

Shane had often talked about how he should be doing more to make a positive impact, to leave a legacy. Jolene said the more than 3,000 people who attended Shane’s showing on March 8 are a testament to the impact he made in his short 29 years of life.

To honor Shane, his wife and family are throwing themselves into sponsoring a scholarship in his name at West Jefferson High School and raising awareness for mental health and suicide prevention.

On Nov. 2, they are holding a pub crawl to benefit the Shane Brintlinger Memorial Scholarship. They awarded two $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors this past May. They hope to do the same each year moving forward. Participants write essays explaining what they want to do to make a positive impact on the world.

The pub crawl starts and ends at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7005 in West Jefferson. The three stops on the crawl–Oak Grove Tavern, Galloway Tavern and Ten Mile Inn–are places Shane and his wife frequented with their friends. After the crawl, an evening of live music, food, and raffles is planned at the VFW post.

The family also plans to hold a 5K run in Shane’s name in the spring to benefit a first responder mental health group.

“The most important thing to me is the message of mental illness. It’s no different than cancer. Nobody wants them, and there is no shame in seeking treatment for either one,” Jolene said. “You can’t see mental illness, but it is very, very real.”

In putting on the pub crawl and 5K and raising money and awareness for education and mental health, Jolene hopes to carry on her son’s legacy.

“I want people to remember him and the positive things about his life,” she said. “I want Shane to know he made a difference, and I want a difference to be attached to his name.”

For more information about the pub crawl, 5K, or scholarship, send email to

Starting Nov. 2, donations can be made to the Shane Brintlinger Memorial Fund at any Huntington Bank.

Shane Brintlinger Pub Crawl

A pub crawl will take place on Nov. 2 to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention. Proceeds will benefit the Shane Brintlinger Memorial Scholarship.

The event starts and ends at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7005, 56 N. Walnut St., West Jefferson. Registration runs from 9 to 11 a.m. Participants will be treated to a free breakfast buffet. The cost to participate is $20 per person ($25 for group transportation). Stops include Oak Grove Tavern, Galloway Tavern and Ten Mile Inn.

After the pub crawl, live music by Sean Prather, food trucks, and raffles will take place at the VFW post starting at 4 p.m. All are welcome.


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