Dear President Jacobsen,
Hi, my name is Jean, and my dad, Wally Dugan, was a firefighter with LA City for 34 years. I am writing to you to express my family’s appreciation of the great work being done by the LA Firemen’s Relief Association.
Our Dad passed away a month ago. Soon after, my brother David contacted the Relief Association because my mom remembered that they might be able to help with funeral costs. David spoke to Andy Kuljis. He was so relieved to learn that Andy was there to help with anything we needed. He took care of the paperwork details, contacted current and retired firefighters to let them know about my dad’s passing and his funeral details, organized having a bagpipe player at the service, attended the service with his wife, and presented my mom with a flag that flew over Station 69 where our dad served as a Captain II. We found comfort in knowing that Andy had worked with our father. We were pleased with the chance to talk to other firefighters who had worked with our dad and who attended the funeral because they had learned about it from LAFRA.
We are proud of our dad’s service with LAFD for so many years. We are grateful for the service provided to our family by Andy and the LAFRA after our dad’s passing. During our time of pain and confusion, Andy made our family feel greatly loved and taken care of. We were treated as family.
A huge “Thank You” to Dave Marino and Jim Stiglich for the 13/16” on the 395!
Dave and Kevin Lowe
Just a brief word to express my appreciation for the informative article that you wrote for the October issue of the Grapevine. Even though my wife and I have prepared for our eventual departure from God’s creation, this rapidly deteriorating planet called earth, we found the information well worth using. I made a copy of the article and will include it in our written instructions for our memorial service since this will assist our daughter and son when handling the arrangements. Your article will provide details which we had not considered or included.
Upon showing the article to my wife, Barbara, she said that she recognized your last name from her time at San Pedro High School. Barbara’s maiden name was Jerkovich and she graduated in 1945. I graduated from Banning High in Wilmington in 1943. We will be married for 66 years this November. This truly shows what a small world that we do live in.
James F. Person, LAFD retired
To the LAFRA Board of Trustees
While (my husband) Darrell was an active member of the LAFD and after he retired, he would tell me, “When time comes and I die, call the Relief Association. They will take care of you.” I had no idea how right he was.
Starting with the very first gentleman my son spoke with, he was so kind and sensitive to our loss. He very carefully explained the help you had in place for us if we wished to take advantage of it.
Even your older, long retired members are treated and remembered with such dignity. My husband was a member of the LAFD and bells rang ten times throughout the city in honor of him. Thank you for that.
I got a call from Gene Bednarchik who said that he would like to come to the memorial service and present me with a flag that had been flown over 63’s, and say a few words about Darrell. He told me that Darrell was his captain when he was a rookie, and then again when he made engineer. Our children and I had talked many times during those first few days about Darrell’s 34 years of service, and had wondered if there were rookies on the job now that he had helped to train. Training new firefighters was one of Darrell’s favorite parts of being a captain. His talk about Darrell was funny at times and it was very clear that he truly knew and respected him as a fellow firefighter and man. I can’t thank Battalion Chief Gene Bednarchik enough for sharing another side of Darrell that many of our friends didn’t know. His memories of my dear man were a real gift to me, our children and grandchildren.
I am so happy that Darrell had a career that brought him so much pride and gave him what was most important to him, which was to serve others.
This check is in memory of my good friend Jim Choner who worked with me at FS 63 and also was my boat partner. As per his family’s wishes, we would like it to go to the Widows and Orphans fund.
Phil and Amy MacBride
San Juan Capistrano, CA
To the editor,
I recently went to a reunion at Fire Station 109. It was the first time I have gone back to a fire station since I retired 28 years ago. To my pleasure, I found a great group of firefighters and their families having fun with food and friends.
I realize that even with the problems that may be occurring in the fire department, the LAFD is still a great place to work for firefighters and their families.
Nicholas Casson, LAFD retired, FS 109
Please accept this donation to the WODFF in memory of Joseph O. Michell, a great harbor guy. I knew him before we got on the job (off of the same list – he was in the 2nd class and I was in the 4th). So I guess that is 65 plus years. Us WWII vets are having a hard time making it out of our 80’s but it has been a great run.
Werner Wahlers, a Pedro guy always
Please accept this donation to the Widows and Orphans Fund in memory of Captain Bob Orman. He was a true “officer and gentleman” and good friend. He was the “skipper of that there vessel” – referring to Old Boat 2. We’ll all miss his great laugh and smile.
Si and Sue Clarke
Please accept this donation to the Widows, Orphans and Disabled Firemen’s Fund in the memory of Hans R. Wolf, known to his friends as “Bob.” We became friends in the drill tower in 1955 and shared many fond memories since then. We are saddened by this loss of an outstanding friend and fireman.
Allan & Shirley Richardson