We regret to report the passing on April 28th of Merton William "Bill" McAvoy Jr., who joined the company on June 22, 1954 and served for many years. Bill is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, his sister Marie Pierson, his daughter Mary Anne McAvoy McKerrow (spouse John), daughter Michele McAvoy-Rubin (spouse Jamie), daughters Marsha McAvoy and Melanie McAvoy, son Michael McAvoy (spouse Vlad), and grandchildren, Dylan, Julian, Amber, and Meliyah. Bill was predeceased by his baby sister Gertrude Ann and infant daughter Maureen.
Bill father, Merton McAvoy Sr., served as secretary of the fire company for several years in the 1950s and 60s. Our thoughts and prayers are with the McAvoy family at this sad time.
We regret to report the passing on April 26th in Kingston, Rhode Island, of longtime Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Co. member Woodruff "Woody" Smith, who served as an active volunteer firefighter in the 1970s. Woody's son, Dean Smith, had joined the company first, in 1968. Woody joined a year or two later and served as a Trustee for several years. He also was a member of the committee organized to handle the planning and construction of the 1975 building annex.
A memorial service for Woody will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 30th at the First Congregational Church, 23 South Main Street, Wallingford, CT 06492. Please keep Dean and his family in your thoughts and prayers at this sad time.
We are deeply saddened to report the passing on October 4th of Co. 5 Lifetime member and retired Hamden Firefighter Edward C. Doiron, at Connecticut Hospice in Branford, following a long and courageous battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was 78.
Ed joined the Mount Carmel Volunteer Fire Co. in June 1961. He was appointed to the paid department in November 1964, but never forgot his volunteer roots. His guidance and mentoring of the newer members were instrumental in keeping the company active during some lean times in the early 1970s, and it blossomed once again into a thriving and very active company during that decade.
Ed served as the company's secretary from 1964-70 and again in the mid-1970s. The company elected him to Life membership in August 2010. He served a three-year term as a Trustee, and was a member of the company's Centennial Celebration Committee (2010-11). At the June meeting last year, the company honored Ed on the 55th anniversary of his application to membership.
Ed was an avid photographer, who chronicled many Hamden Fire Department fires and events over the years.
In addition to his earlier work with Co. 5, Ed was a charter member of the Hamden Professional Firefighters Association, Local 2687, I.A.F.F. and served as its first treasurer from 1979 until his retirement 1993. He also was a founding member of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association, Inc. in 2009.
Ed's son, Edward Doiron, Jr., was an active member of the company in the 1980s and 1990s. He is presently chief of the Gainesville [Missouri] Fire Department.
Services took place at Beecher and Bennett on Friday, October 13th at 10 a.m.
Please keep Ed's family in your thoughts and prayers at this sad time.
We regret to report the September 26th passing of Lt. Col. Fred W. Fletcher Jr., USAF (Ret.), former member of the Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Co. and son of the late Hamden Fire Department retiree, Firefighter Fred W. Fletcher Sr., who also was a member of Co. 5. Lt. Col. Fletcher (71), a decorated Vietnam War veteran, had resided in Georgia with his wife of 49 years, Carol Niles Fletcher.
September 9 - It is with deep regret that we announce the sudden passing of retired Hamden Fire Chief John R. Tramontano last Friday, September 4th, at his home in Gilford, New Hampshire.
Career and volunteer Hamden fire personnel, all other fire service colleagues and friends of Chief Tramontano's are invited to a Memorial Service, conducted by members of the Hamden Fire Department in cooperation with the Tramontano family, to be held at Hamden's Memorial Town Hall, Whitney and Dixwell Avenues, on the morning of Saturday, September 19th from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
It is with deep regret that we announce the sudden death of longtime Co. 5 member and alumnus Benjamin Feinn on Monday, July 14th, in Cheshire, where he had resided for over fifty years.
Ben was elected to membership in Co. 5 on August 24, 1954, and was an active firefighting member for many years thereafter, serving in the positions of First Lieutenant and Trustee. Following his service as a Captain in the United States Army, Ben resumed his active membership in the fire company.
Ben is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara, and their children; Marjorie and her husband Eric Seggerman of Cheshire, Fred of Cheshire, Greg of Marco Island, Florida, his three grandchildren; Liana, Rachel, and Katie.
Ben is also survived by his brother Robert Feinn of Guilford, who also served for many years as an active member of Co. 5.
Funeral services were held at Temple Beth David, 3 Main St., Cheshire on Thursday morning, July 17th, with Interment Services following at the Temple Beth David section of Hillside Cemetery, Wallingford Rd., Cheshire. Memorial contributions may be sent to Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Feinn family.
May 27, 2014 - We deeply regret to announce the passing of Hamden Fire Department retiree and former Co. 5 member Joe Yoga last Sunday morning, May 25th, at Connecticut Hospice in Branford.
Funeral Mass was held on Friday morning, May 30th, at St. Thomas Becket Church in Cheshire.
Joe started his fire service career in October 1959 as a member of the Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Co. No. 5, and was appointed to the career department in 1965. While attempting the rescue of a young woman from an apartment fire above the Merryfield Veterinary Hospital on Shepard Avenue, Joe suffered a severe back injury that forced his retirement from the department in 1980.
Following his retirement, Joe served as a dispatcher for the Cheshire Police Department for twenty-two years. Joe was an active member of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association and attended all of the 2011 festivities commemorating the 100th anniversary of Co. 5..
Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe's wife, Lillian, and the rest of the Yoga family.
Co. 5 and HFD Career Alumnus Howard Hurlburt, Jr. Passes Away in Arkansas
Lt. Howard Hurlburt, Jr.
Lieutenant Howard Hurlburt, Jr.
(1948 - 2013)
It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of retired Hamden Fire Department Lieutenant/Paramedic Howard "Howie" Hurlburt, Jr. on Wednesday, November 20th in Arkansas, where he resided for the last several years.
Howie's fire service career began when he joined the Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Co. in 1965. Howie became a member of the career department in 1970 and was one of Hamden's first EMTs the following year. In 1976, Howie was among the first eight Hamden paramedics to be certified. Following a brief stint as the Department's first Mechanic in 1984, Howie was promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned to Platoons 3 and 4 until his retirement in 1993
Howie was from a family with deep roots in Hamden public service. His brother, Clark, a 30-year veteran of the Department, is a retired Deputy Chief. Howie's father, the late Howard Hurlburt, Sr., served on the Hamden Fire Department from 1948 until his retirement in 1981, and later served on the Hamden Legislative Council. His mother, Nancy, also served on the Council and was Hamden Town Clerk for several years during the 1980s and 90s.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Nancy, Clark and the rest of the Hurlburt family.
October 7, 2012 - It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of G. Donald "Don" Steele, 93, on Saturday, September 15th. Don's obituary, published for the first time in today's New Haven Register, is pictured below.
March 1973 - Don with his 1951 Seagrave pumper
Don was an active member of Co. 5 from the early 1960s until well into the 1980s, having served as Captain from 1967 to 1972. Don's son, Tim, was also an active member and company officer during his time with the company.
Don was also very active in other fire service organizations in Connecticut, including the New Haven County Fire Emergency Plan, of which he was secretary for many years.
Don attended the April 26, 2011 Co. 5 member reunion and the November 11, 2011 Centennial Celebration at the Elks, at which he was one of three World War II veterans presented with a quilt from Quilts of Honor (see photos below).
We regret to report that we have received word from Anders Pedersen that his brother, Find, passed away on March 26, 2012 at Andy's home in Maryland after a lengthy illness.
Find C.C. Pedersen, Jr. joined Co. 5 in March 1951 and was Captain from 1959-61 and again from 1962-66. He remained an active member until 1969, when he left Hamden to become a teacher in the Tolland, Connecticut school system. Find joined the Tolland Volunteer Fire Department and soon became president of the association.
Find was a great guy who was an important leader in the company during the 1950s and 60s.
Find was predeceased by his wife, Sandy, in 2006. Our condolences go out to Andy and the rest of Find's family.