Roll of Honor

John H. Somay

  • Southard Fire Department
  • New Jersey
  • Year of Death: 1993

Submitted by 1st Assistant Chief Steven Hadgkiss

A lifelong resident of Howell Township, NJ, John Somay was a WWII Marine Corps Veteran. He joined the Southard Fire Dept. #1 on May 13, 1949 and rose through the ranks of the department ultimately becoming Chief in 1958-1959.

One of the reasons John was so popular among the membership and community was his work as a machinist. He would tell the members,”Why spend money on parts when we can build them”. And he did, fixing the fire apparatus many times with parts he made in his own garage. In later years, John became a Fire Police Officer for the department as well as the Monmouth County Fire Police.

When Howell Township was divided into five Fire Districts, on Feb. 20, 1960, John was elected as one of the Charter Fire Commissioners, and held that position for many years.

On Nov. 15, 1993, his 74th birthday, John packed his car with $386 worth of brand new fishing gear to enjoy his favorite pastime, fishing the rivers of upstate New York. Just before he was to leave for vacation, a brush fire was called in on Miller Road. John told his wife Teenie, “On the way back from the fire, I’m gonna fill up with gas and get some ice”. John never got a chance to do that. While directing traffic at the fire scene, John was struck by a vehicle and died.

  • (will not be published)

Memorial Wall

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