September 2017

August 31, 2017

Andy Kuljis,

Your column in the August 2017 edition of the Grapevine was very informative. It reminds us to look forward so that we can take care of those that we love. Your advice was easy to understand and I appreciated that you added where to go for help if needed.

I had met Fred [Yager] just two days before he retired and we ended up being together for 41 years. We bought a home together with both our names on the deed, with each other as beneficiary. We also had a trust prepared, giving each other power of attorney. When he became ill and passed, I didn’t have to worry about anything.

I have learned from experience how important it is to have everything covered. I thank Fred every day for making sure I was taken care of.

Sincerely,

Sandy Yager
Sutter, CA

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Dear Jim Dolan:

Mike [Celetano] loved his job and was proud to be able to serve the community and be a part of the fire family. Words cannot describe what the department meant to him.

I wish to express my deepest gratitude to the board and members of the LA Firemen’s Relief Association. It was unexpected and I was very humbled to receive this beautiful flag in his memory. Thank you so much for your kindness and support during a very difficult time for our family.

I’m sorry to have taken so long to respond. I’m still at a loss of words to express my appreciation.

Grace Celetano and the Celetano Family
Nampa, ID

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To Dave Wagner,

Please accept our donation in the name of Harry Gradi and family. I was privileged to have worked with Harry for many years at FS 80. He was a blast to work with and a huge personality.

Harry was a very seasoned firefighter for some 40 years. I am so thankful that I was able to see Harry this past June at the retired guys car show at Mimi’s Café in Thousand Oaks. As soon as I saw him, he gave me a big hug and asked about my Susie. “We” will never forget you “Harry” and you will always be in our hearts and thoughts and prayers. Rest in peace our brother.

Much love,

Rick Hunter & Susie Detrixhe
Venice, CA

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Dear Grapevine:

My donation to the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund is in honor of Tim Foor and his family. And in memory of Jack Foor.

Also to Chaplain Roger Fowble for writing his loving story in the July issue of the Grapevine. Thank God for the caring chaplains. May we read more stories from them.

Ruth Fairrington
(wife of retired FE Fairrington)

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Dear LAFRA,

Please accept this donation in memory of Richard Gilmore, aka “Dickie” or “Mongo” Gilmore. I was fortunate enough to work with Dickie at Old 17’s on the C shift. He was one of the main characters that caused 17’s to be called the “Santa Fe Avenue Zoo” or “The Eastside Sensitivity Training Center.” I think perhaps Dickie conducted a different style of sensitivity training than has been used in later years. Dickie was definitely one of the guys who made the LAFD a special department.

May you rest in peace Dickie. You will be greatly missed.

Sincerely,

Denny Strong
Solvang, CA

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LAFRA-

I knew Ed [Hewko] for many years. He was always a gentleman and a fixture at 15’s. 14’s and 15’s went to a lot of incidents together – Ed was a good fireman. Rest in Peace my friend.

Bob Munoa
Temecula, CA

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LAFRA-

I knew Roger [Fonnet] back in the 1960’s when we worked at Central Receiving and he was an Ambulance Driver. A quiet man in general, he did his job skillfully and carefully helping those he never met nor probably never would meet again in his lifetime. Yet day after day he rendered emergency medical care, driving those old “brown bombers” that rocketed thru the City. Roger helped thousands of people in his career at the Receiving Hospital and then, beginning July 1, 1970, on the LAFD, where he continued to render care to the sick and injured.

Let the Power of the Universe keep him safe in the gentle hands that now care for him.

Alan Cowen

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LAFRA-

I learned a great deal about the Fire Department and myself while serving as a young firefighter under Jerry [Porter]. He always looked after, and took care of his crew no matter what. He had no fear of the administration but he also understood his role as a fire captain, which is what true leadership is all about. He was a fair man and always stood his ground on principle. When I think of the core leadership principles emphasized by the OLD LAFD (when leadership was an actual adjunct and operating guideline of the LAFD and not just a certificate of today’s standards), I think of Jerry.

John Potter

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LAFRA-

Mongo! I first met Dickie [Gilmore] at old 17’s when I was in high school. Never imagined that I would be working with him on the LAFD. When he was assigned to Rescue Maintenance @ S&M, he made me a customized breathing apparatus face piece in order to accommodate my nose. In turn, I gave it to Tony D. Great fireman and an equally great friend.

Vince Marzo

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LAFRA-

In his day, Bob was “Mr Truckman” and taught many young firefighters passing through Battalion14-C. I had the pleasure of opening T-89-C with him. Working under Jack Chell, we would go anywhere, any time for a fire.

He taught me and my wife to waterski which caused our love of boating which continues to this day. God speed my friend.

Bob Mac Millan
Lake Havasu City, AZ

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LAFRA-

My mentor, my friend, my boss. He [Bob Ewert] was in the top echelon of the LAFD greats. We worked together in Battalion 5, S&M and both In-Service and Recruit Training. His word was his bond and if you worked for him you had his full support. They had to come through him first and he was a formidable protector of his troops. I’ll miss him.

Bob De Feo

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