Bradenton releases procession route for fire chief's memorial

BRADENTON — The city of Bradenton and Bradenton Fire Department have released the route of Sunday’s funeral procession for Fire Chief Mark Souders.

Souders, who died Wednesday morning of an apparent heart attack, will be honored at a public ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday at Manatee Convention and Civic Center in Palmetto.

The procession will result in the closure of several city streets from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Sunday. At 10 a.m. Sunday, Third Avenue West will close from Third Street to Ninth Street to serve as a staging area for fire trucks.

The procession will leave Griffith-Cline Funeral Home, 720 Manatee Ave. W., at 12:30 p.m. and head westbound on Manatee Avenue West. The procession will turn left onto Ninth Street West and head southbound toward Eighth Avenue West, where Bradenton fire trucks will join.

Vehicles will then turn right on Eighth Avenue West and left on 11th Street West, where it will pass Gene Gallo Central Fire Station, the site of Souders’ office. The procession will turn left on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, left on Ninth Street West and right on Sixth Avenue West toward First Street/U.S. 301.

Family, co-workers and other personnel will join the procession at that point. The procession will head north on U.S. 301 toward the civic center. The main part of the procession will enter the east driveway of the civic center.

There will be a public viewing today from 2 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at Kingdown Life Church, 825 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. Flowers may be sent to the same address.

Donations may be made to Bradenton Firefighters Association, c/o Bradenton Fire Department, 1010 Ninth Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205. Donations will be held in a trust for the Mark L. Souders Memorial Education Fund.