Joseph F. “Joey” Pustejovsky

Joseph F. 'Joey' Pustejovsky

Joey walked into the face of danger and made the ultimate sacrifice of his life on April 17, 2013, protecting his community by battling a blaze at a local fertilizer plant in West, Texas, which ended in an explosion. Although not successful in extinguishing the blaze, it gave the citizens of West precious time to save countless lives.

Joey was born on August 3, 1983. He graduated from West High School in 2001 and then attended McLennan Community College. He had previously worked at Sears and also for the McLennan County Appraisal District, where he was a personal property appraiser.

At the young age of 29, Joey was a committed man to his family, his church, and to his community, and he served all well. Joey was an active member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church of the Assumption in West, where he organized the Catholic Brothers and Sisters United youth group and served two years as the youth minister. He had worked as the West city secretary for the past four years and was a member of the West Volunteer Fire Department, where he also served as the treasurer. As West city secretary, he was instrumental in securing many grants for city improvements. He approached every job with passion and integrity, no matter how tedious or difficult it may have been.

He was a member of the West ACTS group, where he had served as past director and served on the West ACTS Core as secretary/treasurer. Joey was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #2305 of West and the Monsignor George Dosckocil 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Assembly #2319 of West. Joey loved to hunt, loved Texas A&M sports, loved being with his family and friends, and working in his yard.

Joey is survived by his wife, Kelly; his son, Parker Pustejovsky; his stepchildren, Kayla Bridgeford, Beau Bridgeford, and Ashley Bridgeford; his parents, Joe and Carolyn Pustejovsky; his brother, Brad Pustejovsky, and wife, Dolores; his grandmother, Teresa Compton; and his in-laws, Joe and Brenda Sebesta.

Douglas J. Snokhous

Douglas J. Snokhous

Captain Douglas James Snokhous was born January 1, 1963, to Louise Jares Snokhous and Jimmy Snokhous. He was the oldest of four children. His brother, Robert Snokhous, also died in the West explosion. Surviving are his sister, Karen Hoelscher, and brother, Barry Snokhous, who retired from the United States Air Force.

Douglas spent his entire life living in the town of West, Texas. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic School from 1st grade through 8th grade. He served as an altar boy for many years. He was part of the West Boy Scouts and spent his childhood years with his dad and uncles, who also served on the West Volunteer Fire Department.

Doug went to West High School, loved science projects, played baseball, and was great in football. After graduating from high school, he worked for neighbors mowing grass and saved money to buy his first car. That gave him the chance to go to Waco, Texas, and work. He began his lifelong career at Central Texas Iron Works, where he worked for 32 years as a supervisor.

Douglas was married for 13 years to Donna Beseda Snokhous. He has two daughters, Lauren Snokhous and Laken Snokhous. Douglas also has one grandson, Hogan James. He also had three stepchildren and several step-grandchildren.

Douglas loved being involved in the community. He enjoyed cooking barbecue for different events in West. He always spent time with his family and friends. His hobbies were golf, NASCAR racing, football, and deer hunting.

Douglas’s real passion was volunteering for the West Volunteer Fire Department alongside his brother Robert. Both Douglas and Robert were captains on the fire department. They would always try to be the first two to arrive on the scene and were always ready to help.

Douglas was a wonderful husband and dad. He taught his daughters to drive, taught them to swim, and was understanding about everything in their lives. Being his daughters, he made sure they knew how to hunt and fish. He was proud of all their accomplishments.

Central Texas Iron Works helped to donate a brush fire truck in memory of the two Snokhous brothers, in honor of their dedication and loyalty to the company.

Douglas was a sweet, calm person and friend to all. Always willing to help everyone, he was a brave and faithful man to the West community. His love and support will be missed by all his family and friends, especially the fire department. His courage will always be remembered in our town of West, Texas. He was a true hero!

Robert L. Snokhous

Robert L. Snokhous Sr.

West Volunteer Fire Department Captain Robert “Bob” Snokhous, age 48, of West, passed away on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, while providing the ultimate sacrifice to the community of West.

Robert was born on June 4, 1964, in Hillsboro, the son of Jimmy Rudolph and Louise Marie (Jares) Snokhous. He graduated from West High School in 1982 and received an associate degree from Texas State Technical College in Waco. He was a project manager for Central Texas Iron Works in Waco and was on their emergency response team. Robert had been a volunteer for the West Fire Department, where he had a passion for putting out fires, was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church of the Assumption, and a member of the Knights of Columbus West Council #2305. He loved hunting and outdoor BBQs.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Doug Snokhous. He is survived by his beloved wife of 14 years, Alison (Patke) Snokhous, whom he married on April 15, 1999; son, Robert “Bubba” Snokhous Jr. of Cape Coral, Florida; daughters, Marqee Snokhous of Cape Coral, Florida, and McKenzie Ryan of West; brother, Barry Snokhous, and wife, Sayoko, of Okinawa, Japan; sister, Karen Hoelscher, and husband, Keith, of Ross, Texas; sister-in-law, Donna Snokhous of West; two grandchildren, Kadence and Kameron Snokhous of Cape Coral; and several nieces, nephews, great niece, great nephew, other relatives and many friends.

Robert is loved and missed by all those close to him, and we are proud to have known him as not only our hero, but as many others’ now as well.

Morris W. Bridges Jr.

Morris W. Bridges Jr.

Morris Wayne Bridges was born February 28, 1972, in Dallas, Texas, to Morris and Sharon Bridges. He had two sisters, Melinda Hager of Olean, Missouri, who was very close to Morris, more like his best friend, and Louise Mills of Bristol, Texas.

Morris, age 41, of West, Texas, passed away April 17, 2013, while providing the ultimate sacrifice for the community of West. Morris attended schools in Dallas and graduated from Bruceville-Eddy High School in 1990. He later became a pipefitter for Action Fire Pro in Waxahachie, Texas. He had been a volunteer firefighter for two years.

Morris was kindhearted and loved by everyone in the community. He loved riding motorcycles, fishing, camping, and most of all he adored the smile and love of his two-year-old son, Jaimeson. He loved to hear him giggle. He also had two teenage children, Brittany and Brent.

Morris had many achievements. One he was very proud of was receiving his bachelor’s degree from Penn State. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Carmen Bridges, whom he met in high school. They reunited during the planning of their 20-year high school reunion and married. Jaimeson Ayden Bridges born two years later and was two years old when Morris died. When Morris was not volunteering his time to the fire department and his community, all his extra time was spent with Jaimeson. He was a proud new father and very happy to brag about it. Also left to cherish his memory are Brittany Bridges and Brent Bridges, both of West.

When duty calls me, Oh Lord, wherever flames may range,
Give me the strength to save some life whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child before it is too late;
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert, Oh Lord, and guide my every move,
For life is so precious, please don’t let us lose.
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me
To guard my every neighbor and protect their property.
And if according to Thy will, I must give my life,
Then with Thy protecting hand, My Lord, I pray thee,
Protect my children and my wife.

Amen

Cody Frank Dragoo

Cody Frank Dragoo

Cody Dragoo—husband, brother, brother-in-law, Uncle Cody, godfather, volunteer, friend—GIVER. That was Cody.

He was born on October 15, 1962, in Billings, Montana, and graduated from Montana State University with a degree in agriculture. Cody moved to West, Texas, in 1995, where he was employed by the West Fertilizer Company and two years later married Patty Mynar of West.

Cody joined the West Volunteer Fire Department in 1997. He was actively involved in the annual volunteer fire department BBQ cook-off fundraiser and organized tractor pull competitions in West. He was a member of both the St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus Council 2305 and president of the Cottonwood Water Supply. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, cooking, watching NASCAR races and, most importantly, being with family and friends.

Cody loved his family and especially his wife. They did everything together. A day never went by without little kisses, talking, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. Cody had the biggest smile and was always happy. He had a huge heart and was a very gentle man.

Cody loved to BBQ and grill, and steaks were his specialty. Sundays were family days. Cody would cook for everyone and watch NASCAR. His favorite driver was Dale Jr. Cody loved to swim, and Destin, Florida, was his favorite vacation spot. He also loved to hunt. His best and last year to hunt, he shot two bucks and a doe.

We are very proud of our Cody and miss him dearly. Love to you, Cody, forever.

He used to say, “Life is meant to be enjoyed.” He certainly enjoyed every second of his life, and his life was putting others before himself.

On April 17, 2013, Cody gave the ultimate sacrifice to the community of West and will certainly be missed.