Submitted by his daughter
My dad had 26 years of Volunteer service with Ogdensburg Fire Department‚ 2 as chief. He had 15 years of Volunteer service with Hardyston Fire Department‚ 2 as chief. He has been named Firefighter of the year‚ was a certified Fire Instructor‚ and certified Fire Inspector. He taught at Sussex County Fire Academy.
He was the loving husband of Barbara J. Pierce (Benwitt) of Hardyston‚ NJ for 18 years. He was the son of Betty & William Crane of Ogdensburg‚ NJ. He was the father of Willam Pierce Jr. of Ogdensburg‚ NJ and Kevin Pierce of Hamburg‚ NJ. He was stepfather of 5; Elizabeth A. Davi of Wellington‚ FL; Cheryl A. Westerkamp of Hardyston‚ NJ; Christine M. Vaughan of Rotonda‚ FL; Michael R. Finn of Hardyston‚ NJ & Nicole M. Kiss of Hardyston‚ NJ. He was the proud grandfather of 12 grandchildren; Brian Stormes (18)‚ Amanda Stormes (17)‚ Courtney Westerkamp (15)‚ Harley Vaughan (15)‚ Chelsea Davi (12)‚ Cody Kiss (11)‚ Dylan Davi (11)‚ Travis Westerkamp (11)‚ Kaylia (5)‚ Maci Kiss (4)‚ Kailey Finn (4)‚ and Michael Finn (2).
His hobbies included trains and of course firefighter memorabilia. Bill would chase trains with the grandchildren when he could hear one coming from a distance. His family always came first and he was extremely selfless. He loved to take trips to Atlantic City‚ NJ to gamble and play craps. Most of the local convenience stores knew him well due to his love to play the New Jersey Lottery on a regular basis. After his death‚ many told of the stories they recalled of him while scratching off instant lottery tickets while in their store. One store owner said that he was a wonderful person and that he learned something new each time Bill came into his store. He had a contagious enthusiasm that could be felt anywhere he was.
Bill took firefighting very seriously. Even though he served on two volunteer departments‚ he took them as serious as though he was being paid. He never failed to respond to a call that he was able to make and even though he was exempt for numerous years‚ didn’t reduce his level of duty in the least.
He worked for the Tile‚ Terazzo & Marble Local #7 full time for 5 years. Prior to that he had worked in the sheet metal fabrication industry for nearly 30 years‚ most of which he was self employed under the company name of Bill Pierce & Sons.
He met his wife Barbara 21 years ago‚ when she was a single parent of 5 children. When he asked how many children she had‚ she was almost afraid to give an answer for fear he would leave tracks heading for the door. However‚ he immediately accepted all six into his life‚ as did Barbara and her children accept he and his two children with open arms. Barbara and her five children consider Bill to have been the mender of their once broken road. He will be missed terribly.
More than 1‚000 people attended his elaborate Firefighter’s Funeral‚ as he served as a tremendous example to community and friends from all over Sussex County and the state of New Jersey. Firemen from other neighboring states that knew Bill attended as well.
Whenever asked‚ Bill would proudly say that he had 7 children and boasted of his 12 grandchildren. There was never a feeling of being left out‚ as he treated all 7 of his children equally and with a tremendous amount of love.
Submitted by his wife
Bill was with Ogdensburg for 25 years. He served as Chief in 2003 and 2004. He was with Hardyston 15 years‚ serving as Chief in 1996 and 1997. He received the Firefighter of the Year Award in 1997 from The Knights of Columbus.
He was an Instructor at the Sussex County Fire Academy for a number of years. He was a Fire Inspector for the Borough of Ogdensburg. Bill gained many certificates in different fields and areas of firematics.
He is survived by his wife of 18 years‚ his parents‚ 2 sons‚ 5 stepchildren and 12 grandchildren. He worked in the sheetmetal fabrication industry for 30 years. During many of those years he was self employed under the Company name of Bill Pierce & Sons. He worked for Local #7‚ a Tile and Marble Union for the 5 years prior to his death.
Bill took firefighting very serious and was known as a Firefighter’s Firefighter. Bill will be forever missed by his family and friends but will never be forgotten.