Submitted by his wife
Carl E. Sherman of 173 Dunham Street‚ Southington‚ Connecticut was a founding member of Southington Volunteer Fire Company Number Five. During his service with the company he had served as Captain and Training Officer. Carl truly enjoyed his thirty plus years of service.
He took special joy in training new members of the company. Carl was a born teacher and had an abundance of the ‘common sense’ that seems so uncommon in the world today. After his death‚ his family heard countless stories of how the members of the company would turn to him to solve problems‚ fix things and remember obscure information. At his funeral service one young firefighter‚ known to all as Spanky‚ told those gathered about Carl teaching him how to drive the fire truck. Apparently‚ the young man had gotten too close to something and damaged the mirror on the truck. Carl took the blame for the damage and never told anyone‚ even his own family‚ what had really happened. Carl took great joy and pride in seeing this young firefighter grow through his service. Spanky eventually became a full-time paid firefighter and Carl would not have been more proud if it had been his own son.
Carl always needed to have something to tinker with so he made a project of building a small car that resembled an antique fire buggy. He named it ‘Chief’s Car’ in honor of his father who had been nicknamed ‘Chief.’ He built it from scratch improvising parts from here and there and having a friend help with the welding. He was always on the lookout for parts that he could use. Two of the most memorable were the finial from an old lamp that he used to hide a screw head‚ and an antique fire nozzle that served as the handle on the steering mechanism. He even traveled to Amish Country in Pennsylvania to find a harness maker who would make patent leather fenders for the car. Carl took great pride in traveling all over the state to ride the car in fire parades. His wife‚ Kay‚ and their Jack Russell terrier‚ Scotchie‚ often joined him for the ride.
Carl was a retired employee of Marino Crane Service in Middletown‚ Connecticut. He worked as a crane operator and heavy equipment painter. Carl’s non-firefighting interests including restoring antique trucks‚ travel and camping. After his retirement‚ Carl‚ his wife Kay and dog Scotchie spent the winters in Florida. They often took the ‘scenic’ route so they could visit new places and old friends along the way. They spent most of their summers at their second home in Maine so they could be near their families.
Carl was a loving and gifted man. He died of cardiac arrest at the age of 66 on January 4‚ 2005‚ hours after returning from a training exercise at the firehouse. He is survived by his wife Kay‚ daughter Wendy and dear friend Jackie. He also leaves a grandson‚ Justin Carl‚ who was eagerly anticipated‚ but not yet born at the time of Carl’s death.
Submitted by his parents
Justin was 18 years old when he joined the Southington Volunteer Fire Department in January of 2005. On Saturday‚ April 2‚ 2005‚ during a training session‚ Justin fell 20 feet from a ladder‚ and passed away on April 3‚ 2005. Justin had a bright and promising future. He was considerate‚ inquisitive and fun loving. His potential was limitless. Our family consists of my husband and myself and our two sons‚ Matt & Justin‚ both college students.
Justin was 18 years old and a full time college student. He wanted to be a child psychiatrist‚ to work with troubled children. He was a volunteer at our church and with the local Lions Club. He just earned his Eagle Scout‚ which is the highest rank in Boy Scouts‚ and very difficult to achieve. Justin’s most recent endeavor was to join the local Volunteer Fire Department in our town‚ just like his older brother had done 4 years earlier. Matt and Justin were very close and did many things together. They were looking forward to being in the department together and going on calls together.
Justin had a smile for everyone and was always willing to help. He comes from a large family and has many friends. Justin was always there to help each and every one of them‚ with his infectious laughter‚ great smile or by using his physical strength. He put the needs of his family and friends before his own on many occasions.
Justin was the type of kid who would try any job. He started his paper route when he was 12 and kept that until he was 16 when‚ in his words‚ he could get a real job. I always felt that anyone who got up at 5:30 in the morning to deliver papers had a real job. He worked in a Chiropractors office filing and dealing with patients‚ and also worked at a local nursery doing landscaping and building fish ponds. He loved all of these jobs because he loved dealing with people. When Justin was 15 he built me a beautiful koi pond in the back yard which I always loved‚ but appreciate even more now.
Justin’s real passion was his dirt bike and his newly acquired motorcycle. He always wanted a motorcycle and his goal was to have one before he graduated high school. He worked hard‚ saved his money and reached his goal. He was so proud when he rode that bike to school on the last day. He couldn’t wait for spring to come so he could get the bike out and ride. Unfortunately that day never came.
Even in death Justin was able to give the most precious gift he had‚ himself. His organ and tissue donations not only gave the gift of life to four people‚ but sight to two others. When our boys got their driver’s licenses they signed up to be organ donors. We were so proud of them. We have been donors for many years‚ to see them make that decision on their own‚ and at such a young age was surprising. But then it shouldn’t have been because they always helped anyone who needed it. Justin was a kid who was full of life‚ laughter and fun and if he can’t be here with us at least we know that he was able to give that life‚ laughter and fun to someone else.
We held our 1st Annual Ride4Justin motorcycle benefit on May 7‚ 2006 to help fund the ‘Justin Wisniewski Firefighter Scholarship Fund’ that we‚ along with Southington Volunteer Fire Department Co. 1‚ have started in Justin’s memory. Feel free to visit www.Ride4Justin.com to read more about the ride. There truly was no better way to honor Justin than with a motorcycle ride.
Submitted by his cousin
Justin was training to be a volunteer firefighter when he had an accident on April 2‚ 2005. He fell approximately 20 feet from a 24 foot ground ladder. He passed away on April 3‚ 2005.
Justin was also an Eagle Scout.
There is no profile listed for this fallen firefighter.
Submitted by his grandson
30 plus years of service
Survivors include his son‚ Anthony F. Casale‚ Sr.; daughter‚ Ann Casale; grandchildren‚ Anthony F. Casale Jr.‚ Deborah Nepalatino‚ Lynne Forbotnick‚ Frank Casale; great grandchildren‚ Ashley‚ Ryan‚ Francesec Casale‚ Robert‚ Kacey Forbotnick‚ Isabella‚ Gabriella Casale‚ Anthony Nepalatino; and brothers‚ Louis Casale and George Casale.