William T. Halstead Sr.
- Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company
- Age: 72
- Year of Death: 2022
William “Bill” Halstead Sr. passed away unexpectedly on July 8, 2022. He was the beloved husband of Debbie Aurelia Halstead. A lifelong resident of Sandy Hook and graduate of Newtown High School, he was born January 18, 1949, to Mildred (Casey) and Leo Halstead.
Bill was a member of the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company for over 57 years, carrying on the legacy of many family members, including his mother, father, brother, aunts, and uncles. He joined the department in January 1965 when he turned 16. He served continuously as chief of the department for 44 years after being elected in 1978. Bill worked for the State of Connecticut at the Fairfield Hills Hospital in Newtown for 25 years. He was the chief of the hospital’s fire department until his retirement in 1997. Bill also served as deputy fire marshal for the Town of Newtown from 1983 to 2001 and became the full-time marshal in 2001 until his retirement in 2016. He also served as Newtown’s emergency management director for 23 years.
Known simply as “Chief” to countless firefighters and other first responders throughout the state, Bill was a leader, mentor, and friend to many. While he was known to be tough at times and always demanded the best from his department, Bill’s main concern was always for the safety of his fellow firefighters and the citizens of Sandy Hook and Newtown and other communities he assisted throughout his life.
Bill was inducted into the Connecticut State Firefighter’s Association Hall of Fame in 2011. He also was a member of the Connecticut State Firefighter’s Association and served as the president of the association in 2020. Bill served as president of the Fairfield County Fire Chief’s Emergency Plan and was a member of many other firefighting organizations, including the Connecticut Fire Marshal’s Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Fairfield County Fire Chiefs, International Association of Arson Investigators, and the Connecticut Parade Marshals.
In addition to his wife, Bill is survived by his children, Karin Halstead (John Jeltema) of Sandy Hook, Krista Earle (David) of Southbury, and William Halstead Jr. (Allison) of Southbury, and two stepsons, Ian and Vincent Guilfoil. Of all his accomplishments, Bill was most proud of his cherished grandchildren, Ryan and Nathan Halstead, Elizabeth and Evelyn Earle, and Emma Guilfoil.
The impact that Bill has had on his family, the community, and firefighting profession cannot be measured, and he will forever be in our hearts.