Dale Brown. How do you sum up the life of an exceptional man in just a few words? Dale Brown was not only a hero because he died in the line of duty; he was a hero because of the way he conducted his life.
Dale was born into a family of firefighters. His dad, brothers, uncle, and cousins were all a part of the fire service. Dale was well respected among his peers and was an excellent mentor and teacher. He had a particular talent when it came to technical rescue, water rescue, and confined space rescue. He was always anxious to learn more and to share that knowledge with others. He was a quiet, patient teacher.
Dale was an amazing husband who genuinely loved and cherished his wife, Jenny. They were so close and enjoyed being together. They traveled extensively, loved boating and being on the water. He was a loving son, a caring brother, and a doting uncle who was always there when it counted. His nieces and nephews called him “Uncle Brownie” and could always depend on him to “MacGuyver” anything that might need fixing. He was a loyal, trustworthy friend, and he never thought twice about helping someone in need.
Dale made friends everywhere he went, including during the time that he was fighting occupational cancer. He worked to help facilitate new legislation that might help other firefighters who may also be affected. Even during his illness, he joined the “My Brother’s Burden” walk in support of his firefighter brothers and sisters affected by occupational cancers, where he became even more of an inspiration to many people. Though it was physically taxing, it was very important to him, and he never gave up.
Dale was a fighter. He battled his disease with grace and dignity, surrounded by those who loved him most, including his firefighter family. One of his treasured memories on his cancer journey was when he was in New York to see a specialist. He was unexpectedly invited to spend time with FDNY Rescue 1, a company that was changed by the events of September 11 at the World Trade Center. It was a very memorable and touching experience for him.
Dale was a man that lived in a manner that should be an example to us all. He had a motto that he lived by: Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day. His pure heart was evident as soon as you met him, and his smile will live on forever in our hearts.