James ‘Donkey’ Taylor was the heart of his family‚ his friends‚ his community‚ and his fire department. He died January 19‚ 2003‚ while responding to an accident. He is sadly missed‚ but his memory lives on.
James was known for being very caring and never thought twice about helping someone in need. His long and tireless devotion and dedication to the fire department and the community will be long remembered. He helped with the THINK CHILD SAFETY program every year. He made sure that every year there was a program at the area school for fire prevention. He started Project Graduation in Lamar County.
He was so devoted to me‚ Angie‚ his wife for 8 years‚ and our children‚ Dakota and Carlee. He never missed an opportunity to express his love for all of us. His children were the love of his life.
A scholarship has been established in James’ name for a senior going into the fire and EMS field at Prairiland High School. We know he would be amazed at all the outpouring tributes and acknowledgements of his life. He always thought of himself as a simple person doing what needed to be done with no thought of honor or spotlight. The scholarship is a fitting tribute. He will live on.
Charles ‘Lance’ Mathew was 20 years of age when he answered his last call on March 18‚ 2003‚ while responding to an early morning automobile accident. At that moment‚ our lives were changed forever.
He graduated from Hamshire-Fannett High School in 2000 and attended Lamar University for a short time before joining the LaBelle-Fannett Volunteer Fire Department. Lance worked harder than any of us had ever seen‚ and he made the rank of Lieutenant in less than a year.
At home‚ Lance was a typical 20 year old. While he may not have been excited about helping Mom and Dad around the house‚ there was no stopping him from jumping in his truck to help someone else. Never have I met someone so generous. Whether it be putting up Christmas lights‚ helping with building projects or just running errands – whatever anyone needed‚ all they had to do was ask. And‚ he never said a word about it. He’d just shake his head and grin.
Lance joined the fire department in April 2002 with his good friend‚ Lee. It just fell into place. There were no discussions‚ no questions‚ no worries. Joining the fire department turned out to be the most important decision Lance made in his lifetime‚ and yet he took it with a grain of salt. He didn’t join to become a hero. He didn’t join to be important. But‚ he was so proud to be a part of the department. I think he showed that badge to everyone he met.
To Lance‚ the two most important things in life were fishing and firefighting. It has been said numerous times by those closest to him that he would fish in a ditch if it had a little water in it. But‚ look out if you were with him when tones sounded! There was nothing more important. He’d drop everything to respond to that call.
Lance had a gift for making people feel special. He probably never realized that he touched so many lives in so many ways. That smile could brighten up even the darkest days.
It is doubtful that Lance ever realized how important he was to our community‚ to his friends‚ and to our family. The truth is‚ his death has left a hole in our hearts that can never be filled.
George Petrosky‚ 78‚ was a lifetime member of Midway Hose No. 2 Fire Company‚ Matawan‚ NJ. He sustained a head injury when he collapsed while directing traffic at an accident scene on September 30. After 40 days in a coma‚ he passed away on November 9‚ 2003.
George held positions in the fire department as an Engineer‚ Lieutenant‚ and Captain‚ prior to serving as Chief from 1961 to 1964. He served in the U.S. Army in 14th Armored Field Artillery Regiment with 2nd Armored Division from 1943 to 1945 with stops in England‚ France‚ Holland‚ Belgium‚ and Germany. He was awarded the Order of the Purple Heart in 1945 for injuries sustained while clearing buildings of enemy troops. He also received the Good Conduct and European‚ African‚ and Middle Eastern service medals.
He retired from the Woodbridge State School maintenance department where he worked from 1966 to 1981. He previously worked at Marlboro State Hospital from 1946 to 1966.
George was a member of the First Baptist Church of Matawan for 35 years and served as church Financial Secretary for several years.
George was blessed with a green thumb‚ and his family‚ friends‚ and neighbors enjoyed the vegetables from his garden each summer. His other hobbies were fishing and hunting. He was quiet and kind and modeled the values of honesty‚ fidelity‚ responsibility‚ caring‚ fairness‚ and respect which made him a wonderful husband‚ partner‚ father‚ grandfather‚ father-in-law‚ and friend.
Married to Jean for 50 years before her death; father of David‚ William‚ and Sandra; grandfather of Erika‚ Monica‚ Tara‚ and Kristen‚ father-in-law of Tim and Joyce.
Glyn was 43 years old. He was a volunteer fireman who not only served his department‚ but was there to help any other departments. Glyn was certified CPR‚ AED and First Responder. Glyn received several safety awards for safe driving. Glyn’s personal interest was being a devoted Christian‚ and was devoted to his wife. Glyn was a high school graduate. He completed Air Craft Electrician School‚ VFR (Visual Flight Rual)‚ and truck driving school. He was also a certified locksmith. Glyn also enjoyed being a hotel manager.
Glyn was the first of four children. He was a great son‚ brother‚ husband and uncle. He was always willing to give a helping hand. Glyn never met a stranger. If he did not know you‚ he knew you before you walked away. If you were broke down on the road‚ he was there to help. Glyn was always trying to make things better. His smile could make tears go away. He was well known and well loved. Glyn loved his friends as much as he loved his family. Glyn loved to preach the word of God to any and all. Glyn loved his three dogs as much as he loved his wife. Glyn was a very respectful guy; he would take his shoes of at everyone’s door. He is missed so very much.
This is a tribute to my husband‚ Deputy Chief Donald Maurice‚ who answered his last call on April 8‚ 2003‚ in the line of duty. His long and timeless devotion to the Wolcott Volunteer Fire Department Co. #1 will long be remembered.
Donald had been a member since 1972 and Deputy Chief for eleven and a half years‚ and was known throughout the Litchfield and New Haven counties as a dedicated firefighter. Donald was credited with rescuing two people during a raging fire. There was no doubt his bravery had saved the lives of the people he brought from the burning building.
Donald committed himself to many community services: Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies‚ LEPC‚ Fire Prevention Week at his school – just to name a few of his passions.
Donald‚ an avid fisherman‚ would fish for hours. He was always looking to catch the big one‚ and no doubt would have done so. NASCAR‚ another favorite sport he loved‚ would leave him glued to the TV rooting for his favorite driver. This was his time to relax unless duty called.
Donald‚ a good cook‚ would always volunteer to cook for his colleagues. Especially at the annual firehouse roast beef dinner which is always a successful fundraiser.
Donald’s fire truck W4 was his pride and joy. Many hours would be spent with his members to make sure his truck looked good; nothing out of place‚ polished and ready to appear in the parades to receive that special trophy. And they did just that. Then one parade overall‚ Wolcott had the best appearing fire apparatus. Many trophies decorate Co. #1 firehouse with everyone’s hard work and dedication. Whether in 1st or 2nd place‚ they were all proud. Yes‚ we did party. Our yard behind the firehouse was the party place. Firemen and friends all partied for everyone’s hard work. And Donald‚ proud as he could be‚ enjoyed the moment.
Donald was such a prankster. Whether scaring you or joking with you he always knew what to do to get you going. It came so naturally to him. This is the best story ever:
Tyrrell School‚ where Donald was employed‚ invented Evelyn and Elvis Elf. You know who the elf was. We made cookies for weeks. Donald would leave cookies‚ candy canes‚ popcorn tins‚ and written messages on the blackboards for the kids. The kids were mesmerized. Then the night of the school play‚ Donald would make objects move and lights flicker and the kids knew something was up. But the school play went on. It went as far as an alarm going off at the school at 3:00 a.m. Of course‚ Donald was called in. The officer saw nothing and nothing was found. Donald tells a different story‚ ‘I saw him. A little green guy‚ with pointy green ears‚ pointed nose‚ light green jacket‚ green pants‚ and green and white shoes. He was running so fast I couldn’t catch him. I don’t know where he’s hiding. I’ve searched the whole building.’ Donald found more elf letters and pictures clogged the classrooms as the kids left every afternoon. Many messy desks were cleaned up overnight with a note praising the kids on their singing appearing in each classroom – and‚ of course‚ more treats. The principal‚ teachers‚ and parents thought this was just great that Donald would go to these lengths to motivate the kids to write and draw as a great learning tool to express themselves. Elf encounters remain rare‚ though there were signs everywhere. Articles were written in the Waterbury paper about Mr. and Mrs. Elf. Donald’s response‚ ‘Thank you for all the nice letters‚ pictures and all the treats‚ but Evelyn and I must go help Santa. So I guess this is goodbye for now. By the way‚ I heard the newspaper found out about me‚ but they will never find me.’ – Elvis
Halloween was a blast. You would never know what Donald would dress up as. From Dracula to whatever he would get out of his closet. His imagination was endless. The house would also be decorated which made the kids come from all over to see Donald’s costumes and his special treats. Kids looked forward to our house every year. At Christmas Donald was Santa – not only for the firehouse‚ but especially for his niece‚ Michelle‚ and nephew‚ Robert. They never knew! Donald touched the lives of so many people. From his family‚ many friends and most especially my mom‚ who you helped me take care of no matter what. Whether at your house or hers‚ you were always there. She does miss you.
Donald’s faithful companion‚ besides myself‚ would be his dog Prince. Prince would always be with him no matter what. Going for rides‚ visiting his dad‚ Prince was a part of him. To this day‚ when Prince hears a truck‚ or the fire alarm goes off‚ Prince runs to the door‚ sits and waits for Donald to come home.
Your firemen from Co. #1 have donated your brick this year at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in October of 2004. Your firemen from Co. #1 also donated your brick at the fire school in Windsor Locks‚ Connecticut.
It’s been a year since you left me‚ and my life will never be the same since that April morning.
Donald‚ you roared like a lion‚ but were gentle as a lamb. I love you babe‚ Always and forever. Love only touches you once‚ And it never goes away.
The 100 Club has been taking good care of me. Remembering me every holiday because of you. Also‚ all your members at Co. #1 will be there for whatever I need. All I need is just to ask.
Woodrow Pinkerton was a fire police officer with the Union Fire Company in Medford New Jersey. He was a 20-year veteran of the company and past vice president. At the time of his death he was the captain of the fire police officers. He was the first person in the nearly 200-year history of the Union Fire Company to be killed in the line of duty.
Woodrow‚ or ‘Woody’‚ was noted as a fun-loving jokester who was always there to help out someone in need. He was the type of man who would give you his last cent if he knew you needed it. Many of the younger fireman in his company have said how they looked up to him as a leader and a friend despite the age differences between them.
Woody loved being a fire police officer from the minute he joined the company. He was never a fireman‚ as a lot of fire policeman once were‚ but that didn’t matter to him. He knew his role was just as important. The danger involved didn’t seem to bother him. He knew someone had to do it and was very proud that he was the one out there. Whatever he could do to help‚ that’s what mattered most.
Woody was directing traffic at the scene of an accident on February 23‚ 2003 when another car came through the scene and struck him. He was rushed to the hospital where at first his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. He was awake and talking for the first week after the accident. It was during this time that he made a comment to the chief of his company. He told him‚ ‘If it had to happen to someone‚ I’m glad it was be and not the other guys standing near me’. That tells you a little bit of what type of a man Woody was. Unfortunately‚ his internal injuries were worse than originally thought and he spent the next two months in the ICU before succumbing to his death on April 19‚ 2003‚ just a few days short of his 64th birthday.
Woodrow Wilson Pinkerton is survived by his wife Elaine‚ his daughters Sharon and Robyn‚ his son-in-law Craig and his two grandsons Justin and Zachary all of Medford New Jersey.
Dougie often found that there weren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all that he wanted. It turned out there weren’t enough years in his life.
Dougie was a lifetime member of Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department after twenty-five years of service‚ many as an officer and several as Chief. Being a firefighter wasn’t just something Dougie did – it was who he was. He held a full-time job‚ but it was more what he did between fire calls. He enjoyed hunting as his schedule allowed.
Dougie was a teacher to many in the fire department and at home. He wasn’t a patient and gentle guide. He taught with a high standard. He pushed you to achieve the perfection that he knew you had within. The kids now laugh when they take their cards out to be cleaned and detailed‚ because nobody comes close to detailing and cleaning the way Dougie taught them.
Dougie was an only child and had a deep love for his mother. He spent time helping her with upkeep of her home and upkeep of her yard to his high standards.
On September 16‚ 2001‚ Dougie was in a firetruck accident that left him a quadriplegic. Unlike many who are taken quickly‚ we were given 22 months to spend quality time and say all the things that others often wished they hadn’t left unsaid. With strong and stead friends standing next to him‚ Dougie used this time to let us know how much we all meant to him and to teach us courage and just how precious life is. Not a day goes by that Dougie‚ a memory or a lesson he taught us‚ is far away.
Dougie left his wife Renee‚ his mother Anne‚ five children – Samantha‚ Jessica‚ Justin‚ David and Matthew‚ and a grandson Collin to always remember what a special man we lost on July 9th‚ 2003.
Leland Price‚ Jr.‚ was born in Santa Cruz‚ California‚ December 30‚ 1976. He was better known to family and friends as David. David was a young man who touched everybody’s life that he came into contact with. He left his mark on each and every person that he ever met. If he could help anybody in any way‚ he was right there doing it.
David loved the outdoors; he couldn’t stand to be inside during the day. During the day‚ he enjoyed dirt bike riding‚ remote control aviation‚ and mechanics. It didn’t matter if he didn’t know you or if you were an old friend. He could talk your ear off for hours.
David was a seasonal firefighter who absolutely loved every minute of it. He had worked for First Strike a few years ago‚ and said that he was addicted to it. This year was the second year in a row that he worked for the company. He was born to be a helper of society and he was!
David died August 24‚ 2003‚ when the van that was bring him and part of his crew home collided with a semi. At the time of his passing‚ David was currently working on crew number 3.
David left behind his wife‚ Tiffany Price‚ his mother‚ Suzie Barto‚ his father‚ Leland Price‚ Sr.‚ and his brother‚ Lance Price. He also left behind a large extended family and many‚ many friends. All of his loved ones miss him dearly.
Ifyou knew David and you’re reading this‚ I invite you to share your thoughts and memories of him.
Jeffrey Tiegs was the heart of his family‚ friends‚ community and his fire department. Jeff died on November 24‚ 2003 in the line of duty while responding to an automobile accident on Hwy 10 and Hwy 161 near Amherst Junction‚ Wisconsin. He is remembered as a good friend to many people and will never be forgotten.
Jeff loved helping others and was a dedicated volunteer firefighter for 11 years. He was also an active member in the Portage County Fire Investigation Task Force for 3 years. Fire Chief Victor Voss had this to say about Jeff: ‘The fire department must go on as anyone who loses someone must do. We have had many calls since losing Jeff and we are now realizing how much we counted on Jeff. All of the little things he did‚ that we took for granted‚ now must be done by someone else. It is our job as firefighters to go on. Jeff will never be forgotten here and his memory lives on in stories‚ pictures and in our hearts. Jeff’s wife Diana is still volunteering and doing what Jeff loved to do. Everything at the fire station has Jeff’s fingerprints on it and memories are not hard to come by. Jeff is here! The fire department is a grieving family that has lost one of our own – our brother Jeff was lost. He loved being a firefighter and hated to miss any event that the department was involved in. In the 11 years Jeff worked as a volunteer firefighter‚ he only missed a handful of calls. That means hundreds of calls were answered by him. When something or someone needed help‚ Jeff was there. If anything was going on at the station he was there. If the trucks needed service‚ the station needed cleaning‚ the parking lot needed washing or a truck needed to be in a parade‚ Jeff was there! Jeff was there!’
Jeff and I were married for 25 years. He was a devoted to me‚ our daughter Nichole and her husband Ron Worthey‚ Jr.‚ our daughter Jennifer and her husband to be Freddie Seymour and our son Kyle. Jeff had 3 grandchildren – Bryan‚ Amanda and Robert. He spent many hours teaching Bryan CPR and how to be a firefighter. Amanda was the only granddaughter and the apple of her grandfather’s eye. Robert is Jeff’s youngest grandchild. We know that Jeff is now in heaven cuddling and caring for his youngest grandson who preceded him in death.
A memorial fund has been established in Jeff’s name at the International Bank of Amherst‚ Amherst‚ Wisconsin 54406.
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