Jeff was a loyal and dedicated man to his family and the fire service. He passed away on May 2, 2021, after collapsing on the scene of a residential structure fire. Jeff was raised with the Starr Township Volunteer Fire Department, where both of his parents were members. Jeff started his fire career as a volunteer firefighter with the Starr Township VFD in 2001. In 2011, he was hired as part-time firefighter with the Nelsonville Division of Fire, becoming full-time in 2011. While serving with the Nelsonville Division of Fire, Jeff obtained his EMR certification in 2018 and Fire Safety Inspector in 2019.
Jeff’s true passions were his family and community. Jeff helped run, plan, and organize the fire department’s Jim Conrad Annual Toy Drive. During this event, each child in the community had the opportunity to visit Santa Claus and receive a gift. Another event rich in local history is the annual Christmas Basket program. The fire department delivers food baskets to community members in need during the holidays. Jeff helped plan and organize the Water Battles which took place during the Parade of the Hills. The Water Battles are a physical agility and fire tactics competition that include fire departments from as far as 60 miles away.
As a fireworks exhibitor with Hamburg Fireworks, Jeff was responsible for setting off fireworks every year for Nelsonville’s 4th of July Thunder In The Valley fireworks show. Jeff also enjoyed volunteering for haunted houses since the age of 16. He enjoyed singing, fishing, riding motorcycles, and traveling with his wife. The couple took many vacations together to Myrtle Beach, which is where they got engaged and enjoyed their honeymoon. They traveled to Florida, Niagara Falls, Tennessee, and Las Vegas. They had plans to take many other trips together—cruises, Key West, and other tropical locations.
Jeff’s family and friends were his entire world. His greatest accomplishment was being an amazing father to his daughter, Teylar (14), and his son, Ayden (3). He supported his wife, Lezlee, in all her endeavors, and she supported his as well.
Jeff was a caring, fun, and loving person. He had a great sense of humor and loved to play jokes on people, especially his firefighter brothers. Jeff’s life was cut short, and he will be greatly missed by not only his family, but also his firefighter family and members of the Nelsonville Community. A part of us was lost with Jeff, but he will always be in our memories and never forgotten.