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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 50
Year of Death: 2002

Leo L. Swank

Submitted by his wife

Leo L. ‘Lee’ Swank has been a volunteer for most of his life. After Graduating from Clear Fork High School in 1969‚ Lee volunteered to join the Army. He trained as an Airborne Pathfinder and voulunteered to serve in Vietnam for one year. After being discharged from the Army‚ Lee played semi-pro football with the Clear Fork Wheels.

In August of 1974‚ he joined the Jefferson Township-Bellville Fire Department‚ and became a volunteer firefighter/EMT. Lee became an officer in 1980‚ and had remained a Lieutenant until his death. He was elected president of our department association in 1985‚ and served there until March 16‚ 2002.

When Lee’s children were old enough to start playing sports‚ Lee volunteered to coach youth league baseball and pony league football. He loved working with the kids‚ and they loved being on his team. Lee served as president of the youth league for a couple of years‚ and president of pony league football for 6 years. He coached for a total of 17 years.

For 32 years‚ Lee worked at the Sohio/BP service station in Bellville. He served his customers faithfully until closing the station in 2000‚ due to the changing economy. He then worked for Wade and Gatton Nursery as a mechanic.

Lee never wanted any recognition for the things he did. He served his community quietly‚ and continuously for 27 years. He was only 51 years old when he suffered a heart attack‚ and fell from the jump seat of our pumper truck‚ while returning to the station from a chimney fire on March 16‚ 2002.

Lee is survived by his wife Pamela. Sons‚ Leo who is a firefighter/paramedic‚ Charles‚ who is in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne‚ and Jesse‚ who is a member of the fire department explorer post. Daughter‚ Rebecca and new granddaughter Courtney.

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  1. Lee, on this the 18th year anniversary of your death, you will never be forgotten by your firefighter family RIP Lee

    – lisa hopman