George H. Crotts Jr.

George H. Crotts Jr.

George was born June 20‚ 1937‚ into a Christian family and raised in Philadelphia. He was the firstborn and only son of six children. George graduated from Germantown High School. In 1954‚ his family moved to Willow Grove‚ a suburb of Philadelphia.

During his youth‚ George worked a variety of jobs‚ from delivering newspapers to serving as a soda jerk at an ice cream parlor‚ with the sole purpose of buying a car. Later in life‚ he expressed regret at missing out on after-school activities. He remained passionate about his cars and kept them in immaculate condition. He treated the equipment at the firehouse in like manner.

George’s interest to become a firefighter was sparked when he attended Willow Grove’s Memorial Day parade. Following the parade to its end at Willow Grove Park’s lake‚ George watched as the participating fire companies demonstrated drafting with their pumper trucks. Years later‚ George could easily recall that this was the day that he was ‘hooked.’ That same day‚ he went to the firehouse to inquire about membership. This ‘city boy’s’ decisiveness about this matter so soon after his arrival to the ‘country’ was just one of his gifts. He became a member of Willow Grove Fire Company on September 15‚ 1955. He had a servant’s heart and a will to never give up (more gifts). Fifty-two years later and still an active firefighter‚ George told a reporter‚ ‘I believe in loyalty. I’m loyal to my family‚ my company‚ my firehouse‚ and my God.’ As a member of WGFC‚ he assumed a variety of responsibilities‚ dedicating himself to driving and pumping operations. Over the years‚ he served as trustee‚ chief engineer‚ secretary of the active crew‚ driver/trainer and treasurer of the active crew.

George was a faithful employee at Bell Telephone/Verizon from 1955 to 2000. He embraced retirement quickly‚ allowing him to spend more time with his family and at the firehouse.

George and Ruth met the summer of 1962 after his tour of duty in Korea. They married the following October‚ had four children (Cynthia‚ George III‚ Gary‚ and Lynn)‚ and were blessed with nine grandchildren (Kyle‚ Timothy‚ Haley‚ Kaela‚ Andrew‚ Nathan‚ Zachary‚ Naomi‚ and Arwen.) George loved his family well‚ and they loved him. He was their rock!

On September 8‚ 2007‚ George was preparing to depart for a parade celebrating his beloved ‘Bertha.’ He placed the antique 1924 American LaFrance pumper onto a trailer. Coming down‚ he fell and struck his head. He succumbed to this injury the following day. George is missed much by his family and friends‚ and by his fellow firefighters at WGFC‚ where George must have seemed to be like one of the fixtures.