NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A longtime Norman firefighter and a hero to many after battling and overcoming cancer, Levi Wilkins died during a rock climbing incident Friday according to officials.
Crews both in the air and on ground pulled two climbers from The Wichita Mountains Refuge after they fell while climbing near the Narrows Trails.
Wilkins Wife, Emily confirmed to News 4 her husband did not survive.
Many called Wilkins a hero.
“It’s difficult to express just how hard it hit when we learned of Levi’s passing yesterday. A few years ago, he courageously battled cancer and came out stronger on the other side. He lived life to the fullest every day and everyone who knew him loved him. Please keep his family in your prayers,” the Norman Fire Department posted on Facebook.
It was confirmed Saturday by his wife who said on Facebook, “There’s no easy or graceful way to say this. @leviswilkins died in a rock-climbing accident yesterday. He was the most incredible husband, father, son, brother & friend. Having been together since we were 16 I don’t know how to do life without him and I never wanted to learn. After beating cancer he lived BIG. He believed every day was a gift, and it brings great comfort to know how happy he was doing what he loved when his time came. I’m not sure how we will face the future without him, but we will do our best to carry on his legacy of wonder and adventure.”
Agencies from all around the state posted online a tribute of some sort to Wilkins’ and his family.
There was a rock climbing incident Friday afternoon where a report of a climber who needed to be rescued was made. Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that two climbers were extracted. No other updates as of Saturday.