David A. Wintz Sr. was born September 28‚ 1946‚ in Philadelphia‚ to Francis and Marie Wintz and was raised in Feasterville‚ Pennsylvania. A graduate of Neshaminy High School‚ David started volunteering as a firefighter at age 16. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1964 and was ordered to active duty in 1966. While serving his country in the military‚ David completed his firefighter certification through the Navy and also through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He served as a firefighter at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard‚ was honorably discharged as a seaman apprentice in 1970‚ and continued to serve his community as a volunteer firefighter.
In 1970‚ David married Catherine Kemps. They had three children: Sandra (born 1971)‚ David Jr. (born 1972)‚ and Sueann (born 1975). David and Cathy separated and eventually divorced. In 1979‚ David met Helen Toth. David and Helen welcomed their son‚ Daniel‚ in 1984. They married in 1989‚ with a reception at David’s fire company‚ Goodwill Fire Company Station 52 in Bristol.
In 1994‚ David‚ Helen‚ and Daniel moved to Florida. David had his Class A CDL and was certified as a heavy equipment operator. He worked for Florida Power until the company went out of business‚ then became a delivery driver for Cox Lumber. In 2007‚ David and Helen moved back home to Bucks County‚ Pennsylvania. Their son Daniel and his wife remained in Florida.
When David returned to Bucks County‚ one of his first stops was in Bristol Borough‚ requesting to come back to the fire department as a fire police. David was offered the fire police captain position at Bristol Fire Company Station 51. David was a role model who helped show other members the ropes and gained the respect of his fellow firefighters and fire police. When firefighters saw FP Captain David Wintz on the fire scene directing traffic‚ they knew they were safe. David did not think of himself as a hero; he just loved what he did and was good at it.
Three of David’s four children-David Jr‚ Sueann‚ and Daniel-have followed in his footsteps into the fire service. Sandra‚ the oldest of the four‚ is a big supporter of her siblings and attends many fire department activities.
Early on the morning of May 16‚ 2012‚ Croydon Fire Company Station 11 was called to the Dow Chemical Plant in Croyden‚ Pennsylvania‚ and it eventually went to three alarms. David answered the call. While at his post doing his duties‚ David went into cardiac arrest. He died later at Lower Bucks Hospital.
David was well respected by all. He was a role model for his family‚ friends‚ and fellow firefighters.