James E. Sylvester
- Mount Ephraim Fire Department
- New Jersey
- Age: 31
- Year of Death: 2002
Submitted by his wife
Jim was a born leader and friend to all that knew him. His family describes him as a loving husband‚ brother and son. His friends describe him as loyal‚ dependable‚ thoughtful proud‚ caring and accountable. Jim had the ability to identify each person’s strengths and weaknesses. He allowed each person to capitalize on their strengths while at the same time helping them focus to improve their weaknesses.
Jim’s focus was always on his family‚ friends and the Fire Department. He was always there to lend a hand whenever and wherever needed. His goal‚ though never obtained‚ was to become a career firefighter. But he never lost sight of the importance of being a volunteer.
As a youth in the fire service‚ Jim was the ultimate student. He always aspired to be the best he could be by attending any schooling that would improve his knowledge of the fire service As he matured. Jim continued his education and accepted the challenges of becoming an officer. It was by his willingness to accept these challenges that it became evident that the ultimate student had now become the ultimate teacher.
He was also the ultimate leader‚ allowing others to shine and was never shy about telling others of the accomplishments of the Department. It was this focus and drive that allowed for‚ with assistance from others‚ the consolidation and reorganization of the Mount Ephraim Fire Department.
When it came to his family‚ he was more supportive of their goals and accomplishments. He was especially proud of Marilyn. As she pushed him to achieve his goals‚ he was just‚ if not more supportive as he pushed Marilyn to achieve hers. He was a proud husband and father-to-be.
As is evident by the following‚ in his very short time with us. Jim accomplished many things and touched many people. His achievements include being Chief of the Mount Ephraim Fire Department‚ with prior service to Mount Ephraim Fire Company #2‚ holding the positions of Chief. Deputy Chief. Assistant Chief. Captain and Lieutenant. Jim was also a New Jersey Certified Emergency Medical Technician. Jim also held the position as Board Member for the Camden County Fire Chiefs Association and was an Instructor at the Camden County Fire Academy.
His passing has left a chasm in many lives that may never be filled. Along with her memories of Jim. his legacy to Marilyn is their beautiful daughter Brittany. His legacy to the community is the Fire Department. His legacy to the Fire Department is the challenge he has left us‚ to be the best that we can be.
To all humanity‚ Jim the teacher gave us one last lesson in his passing‚ that we should no longer take life for granted. For tomorrow may never come so live life to its fullest each day. Be thoughtful and courteous of others feelings. Be loving and patient to our children. Rejoice in their accomplishments and support them when they are down. That the words ‘I Love You’ should always be said with the feeling they are meant to convey. That ‘When good men die‚ their goodness does not perish’.
Rest in eternal peace our brother and protect us as we battle the Red Devil we call fire. Watch over us and guide as so that we can fulfill your dream for us‚ to be the best firefighters that we can be. Give us the strength to fulfill our calling to ‘protect life and property.’