Albert George Eberle‚ Jr. was born January 1‚1935 in Abington‚ Pennsylvania‚ north of Philadelphia. The son of Mildred Brodt Eberle and Albert George Eberle‚ Sr.‚ Al was raised in a firefighter’s family from the time he was a young child. Al’s father was a lifelong volunteer fireman at both Roslyn Fire Company and Willow Grove Fire Company. Albert‚ Sr. held several positions including president‚ chaplain‚ and captain of the fire police. This is where the family tradition began. Al’s family has pictures of him as a young boy dressed in his father’s fire gear.
Al married his bride‚ Jane‚ in 1952. In January 1953‚ after his baby daughter was born‚ Al joined Roslyn Fire Company at the age of 18. As a young family man‚ he worked two jobs and participated in fire training activities each weekend. Being busy‚ he always found time for fire service. It was a love of his at a very young age. Al enjoyed participating in all aspects of the fire company activities‚ even being in the community parades pulling a fire company float. Al joined Willow Grove Fire Company in 1958. As his training progressed‚ he became a driver and had a reputation for being able to put a fire truck where no one else could get it. He enjoyed fire training activities and helping new firefighters to grow and to appreciate the safety aspects of firefighting. At one point‚ Al and his Father ran an ambulance at Roslyn Fire Company. Al was never without his fire radios and pagers‚ always at the ready should the community need his help. The sound of fire radios throughout the house was a normal part of the Eberle household environment.
Al was fully involved in all areas of the volunteer fire departments. Working his way up as a new firefighter‚ he held mostly all positions within the fire company. As chief engineer both at Roslyn and Willow Grove Fire Companies‚ this position allowed him to really shine. Being a mechanic by trade‚ his mechanical abilities were superior‚ and almost second nature. One of Al’s accomplishments was building a Volkswagen from the chassis up for his daughter‚ Trudy. He even designed the paint color‚ a shade of aqua unheard of in the 1970s. He presented this car to his daughter when she was a senior in high school‚ and they were both very proud of that car.
With over 56 years of fire service. Al was presented with many awards‚ certifications‚ and citations. The recognition of 50 years of service was a day of honor and pride for both Al and his family. For his last 13 years‚ Al was Captain of the Fire Police at Roslyn Fire Company. He was available day and night to assist in emergencies as they presented. No matter where he was or what he was doing‚ fire service was a top priority. His family understood that and supported his efforts.
Al always thought of his fellow firefighters as family. Being a man of strong will and demeanor‚ he was very definite in his values and opinions regarding fire service. He would not hesitate to be there for a fellow firefighter who was in trouble or whose family needed help. While his respect for fire service ran deep‚ and his expectations for all firefighters were high. He would be the first to support a firefighter who was in trouble or who simply needed guidance. A man of plain words‚ he also had a tender heart that could show great compassion.
Al and Jane were married 57 years and still had a strong love between them. Being married at a very young age‚ they grew up together learning and experiencing life. Together‚ as the years passed‚ they continued to support fire service at Roslyn Fire Company; Al was the captain of the fire police‚ and Jane was president of the ladies auxiliary supporting the firemen through fundraising efforts. Though Al is gone from his family and the fire service‚ his family continues to carry on the tradition that started in the Eberle Family almost 100 years ago. His daughter‚ Trudy‚ and son‚ Albert‚ loved Al. He was also very blessed to have three grandchildren: Tammy‚ Laura and Bruce; and three great-grandchildren: Dylan‚ Katrina‚ and Kyle.
On February 15‚ 2009‚ Al was called to come to an accident scene in Abington. He told his wife‚ ‘I have to go.’ He drove to the scene and had a conversation with one of the men. Ten minutes later he was found slumped over the wheel. He had a major heart attack‚ and died quickly. He died doing what he loved‚ in fire service and giving to his community. Al’s death was a shock to his wife‚ daughter‚ son‚ and the whole volunteer firefighter family. A memorial service was held at Roslyn Fire Company a week later. Over 700 people attended. His daughter wrote a piece called ‘Being a Firefighter’s Daughter‚’ which was read at the memorial service. His son also spoke of the pride he felt in his dad’s accomplishments. The service was truly honoring of a man who gave his life to fire service. His family will be forever grateful for the support and love all the firemen have given and continue to give. Though we miss him more than our words can say‚ we are sure Al is in Heaven finding ways to provide community service‚ as this was the best way he knew to express his love for his fellow man.