Submitted by his Wife
Greg H. Vieth
Davenport Fire Department – Iowa
Date of Death: January 9‚ 2004
Gregory Vieth was respected for his dedication to his job and his family. Greg was focused on prevention. While working in the fire marshal’s office‚ he revised a fire code manual to make inspections easier for firefighters. He felt honored to be a member of the HAZMAT team for the Scott County Community of Iowa. Davenport Fire Chief Mark Frese stated‚ ‘Greg was a man of high energy‚ and I wish I had a hundred more just like him.’ He had an effective‚ intense leadership style and always tried to see the best qualities in his fellow workers.
Vieth graduated from South Milwaukee High School in the late 1960s. He attended Luther College in Decorah‚ Iowa‚ and was a wellness and business teacher for several years. After trying out several occupations‚ he found his true love in firefighting.
He was a strong union member‚ and the day of his death was to meet with presidential candidate John Kerry as a representative of the local firefighters’ union. He used his knowledge in business and accounting that he received at St. Ambrose University to help the firefighters and police officers negotiate a progressive contract with the city leaders. Greg was a master with numbers and statistics.
He led by example with physical fitness. He rode his bike to work‚ after a 45-minute fun ride‚ before his job began at 6:45 a.m. most working days. He lifted weights‚ promoted physical fitness‚ and helped pay for weightlifting equipment before the city realized its importance. He was also very proud that he participated together with other city workers in a local triathlon.
Greg had a lifelong love of learning and felt compelled to always better himself in his life goals. He was a hands-on type of guy who always wanted to be on the front end of the fire hose and in the middle of the action‚ but he was always willing to do whatever it took to help out others in need.
Greg completely embraced life and the love of his family. He was married to Jo‚ his wife of 29 years. His sons‚ Chad and Travis‚ were the light of his life. He could not stop talking about them. He was a hands-on father who did childcare‚ field trips and never missed their activities when not at work. He coached their activities and did endless practice with them when they were growing up. The spirit of their father lives within Chad and Travis to this day.
Greg suffered a fatal heart attack during physical training. Family‚ friends and co-workers have missed Greg greatly since his early death.