Neil B. Cope

Neil B. Cope

Neil’s community service spans decades. His love of community was unquestioned. He served 17 years, first as an EMT for Rostraver West Newton Emergency Services, Inc. and then as the dispatch supervisor. He joined Fayette City Volunteer Fire Company and became the safety officer. While serving with Fayette County, he received recognition from the Fayette County Firemen’s Association for heroism at Dainty’s Personal Care Home on September 13, 1999.

He was also a firefighter for Monessen Fire Department #1 for a short while. His love for the community of North Belle Vernon brought him to the North Belle Vernon Volunteer Fire Department. He joined for two years in 1993 and then came back in 2017, becoming 3rd lieutenant. In 2018, he became recording secretary and treasurer and received the President’s Award, and in 2019 he became 1st lieutenant.

While busy with the North Belle VFD, he became the bingo chairman and was on the bingo finance committee and other boards and committees. If he was not working as a school bus driver for Belle Vernon Area School District, he was working on getting ready for that week’s bingo. Neil was the bingo caller for the Roscoe, Collinsburg, and Washington Township Fire Departments. He also helped with the organization of the Bikers Helping Others Food Drive, which was renamed Bikers Helping Others Neil Cope Memorial Food Drive.

Neil was married to Kimberly Thomas Cope for 23 years. They have three children, Ryan Fiem and wife Charlotte, Brittany and husband John Morrison, and Caitlin Bean; and six grandchildren, Samantha, Sean, and Mackenzie Morrison and Izabella, Xavier, and Lilliana Bean. When it came to his grandchildren, he was “Poppy.” He was involved with dance for Samantha, soccer for Mackenizie, and baseball for Sean. He enjoyed going to Texas to see Izabella, Xavier, and Lilliana and taking them to the pool, Sea World, Six Flags or just being silly with them. Neil is also survived by his parents, Michele Baron Cope and Brian Cope; his brother, Dan Cope, wife Nicole, and niece, Halley; and his sister, Christie Cope Thompson, and nephew, Aiden Thompson.

He loved his Pittsburgh Penguins, and when it came time for hockey season you would hear him say, “It’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh!” He enjoyed going to the casino, battling a bar-top poker machine, or snagging some scratch-offs while enjoying a McDonald’s large Coke and peanut M&Ms.

Neil was a husband, father, Poppy, son, brother, friend, and firefighter.


John A. Stura

John A. Stura

Submitted by his Daughter

Those who knew John would say‚ ‘What a great guy.’ He was well liked and respected in the community. Many lives were affected when John was struck by a vehicle and lost his life while doing fire department business on October 16‚ 2006. Many of his firemen buddies were with him‚ holding his hand while he died.

After high school‚ John joined the United States Air Force and served during WWII from 1941-1945. After being discharged from the Air Force‚ he got a job with Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Co‚ at the Monessen‚ Pennsylvania‚ plant. He was general foreman and retired after 36 years.

In 1952‚ he married Gloria‚ his wife for almost 54 years. He had a daughter‚ Lorene; three grandchildren‚ Lisa‚ Gary‚ and John; four great-grandchildren‚ Kelsey‚ Brendon‚ Brayton‚ and Britton.

John joined the North Belle Vernon Fire Department (Station #80) in 1964 and remained active until his death. John’s wife says he died doing what he enjoyed and loved. During the time he was a member‚ he received the Chief’s Award in 1984‚ Fireman of the Year in 1987‚ and the Presidential Award for his dedication.

John was a member of the American Legion‚ the East Belle Vernon Athletic Association‚ and Naomi Club. He enjoyed bowling‚ playing cards‚ and painting. He was a big fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and was a season ticket holder for years.

John was blessed that he was able to see three of his four great-grandchildren and enjoyed spending time with them. His buddy was Brendon‚ who he enjoyed taking to the fire hall and always buying and giving him anything resembling firemen. The last time he was with Brendon‚ he presented him with a Station 80 fireman’s helmet.

John’s first love was his family‚ and he would do anything he could to help them and anyone else who needed him. He lived a simple life. His second love was being a member of the fire department. He remained active for 42 years‚ even after he could not fight fires because of his age. He was proud to be a fireman and very dedicated. He is truly missed.

John may be gone‚ but he will never be forgotten. His memory lives on in the hearts of family and friends.