Daryl “Taddy” Drusch was on the front line of helping others as a member of the Howard Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance for 30 years. He was known as someone who was passionate about helping others. Tragically, Taddy died of a heart attack just hours after responding to an emergency call. He leaves behind his wife, Julie, and son, Taylor.
Taddy showed great dedication to the department throughout the years he served, even getting into trouble with his wife and son when he missed family events, arrived late, or when his pager woke them up in the middle of the night. Taddy participated in many department events, performed maintenance on the fire trucks, and served in many different roles including training officer, assistant chief, and as chief from 2014 until the day he died.
Many of the firemen looked up to him and went to him for answers and guidance. He always made sure that the jobs were done and done right. While he had a strong opinion about everything and he wasn’t afraid to share it, he had a soft side when he knew people needed help. He was always willing to lend an ear or provide friendly advice, no matter how long it took. I remember several times after calls asking if he got lost on the way home, as we only lived three blocks from the station. Inevitably, he stayed late to mentor one of his fellow firemen.
A great leader and mentor to those in the fire service, he was also dedicated to the ambulance, day or night. The quality that always stood out was his ability to make children smile on ambulance runs; whether he had to help them or their parents, he had a way to put them at ease. His leadership, dedication, and knowledge will be greatly missed by those on HLFD and the surrounding communities.
Taddy was a hard worker and self-sufficient. If he didn’t know how to do something, he worked at it until he mastered it. In addition to the fire department, his passions were being his wife’s best friend, coaching Taylor in sports and life, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, camping, and playing cards. A loving father and husband, Taddy looked forward to family vacations each year. The time away with Julie and Taylor was the time he enjoyed most in life. These are just a few of the activities that will be more difficult to continue without him, but we will, because we know that he will be with us. Taddy left a big hole in our hearts and will be missed but always remembered by his family, friends, and our community!