September 2018

August 31, 2018

Dear LAFRA Members:

Thank you for your letters and emails following the publication of our 2017 Yearbook. The Yearbook Work Group labored long and hard to create a tome that would suitably honor the work and sacrifices of our firefighters. We tried to provide as broad a history as possible, working within our constraints of space and funding.

As you are aware, LAFRA and the LAFD date back more than 100 years. It would have been impossible to provide a comprehensive list of every member who served all the way back to the turn of the last century. We have had more than 2,000 retired members pass away since 1999 alone. Therefore, we limited the list of “Retired Firefighters” to those who were living at the time of publication.

It is important that we remember and honor all who unselfishly served our City. In our hearts and in our minds, yes – but more than that. A good place to start is at the LAFD Memorial Ceremony at our Fallen Firefighters Memorial each October. It is a time and a place to recognize those that gave the last measure of devotion, but also to reminisce about those with whom we served and their contributions to our great Department.

Dave Wagner
Managing Editor


Dearest Fire Family,

Although the past few months have been a challenge for our family, we have been overwhelmed by the show of love and friendship from all of you. Whether through calls and texts, visits at the hospital, or most recently, the astounding attendance at the Canyon Club benefit event, you have so generously given of yourselves. Although we do not know what the future holds, we are encouraged by your presence and willingness to help. We know we are not alone on this journey. Thank you for boosting our spirits and surrounding us with unconditional support, we could not do this without you!

Henry and Kate Munoz


Dear Mr. Dolan,

Thank you so very much for the nice flag display in honor of my husband Howard Garner. Howard was proud to be part of the City of Los Angeles Fire Dept for 32 years.

It was nice to know that the flag was flown at the Fire Prevention Bureau. The plaque was a wonderful addition to the display. The wooden display is on top of a display cabinet in our living room. Inside the cabinet are other ceramic firefighter items. Friends and family can enjoy looking at it.

We all miss Howard so very much. He was a wonderful husband for 61 years and a wonderful father to our two sons and two girls. He was also a grandfather and great-grandfather!

Thank you again for the wonderful honor of Howard.


Margaret Garner
Prescott Valley, AZ



Jim O’Neill, a friend, mentor and an outstanding Fire Ground Commander.

A Marine who fought his way from the Yalu River to safety as part of one of the Marine Corps greatest battles, “The Frozen Chosin.” [Battle of Chosin Reservoir, Korean War, Nov/Dec 1950] He carried that courage to fight and win throughout out his Fire Department career – at emergencies, in special duty and as a negotiator. His word was his bond.

I had the good fortune to work in Battalion 11 as a rookie B/C. O’ Neill was in Battalion 5, and another Marine, Glenn Dinger, was in Battalion 1. They showed me the way and kept me out of trouble.

Jim, guns up, God bless and Semper Fi,

Robert DeFeo
Orange, CA



Enclosed, please find a check in the amount of $175.00. This was collected at the firefighter breakfast at Mimi’s Restaurant on June 6. We would like to donate this to the WODFF in memory of Ken Dameron, who passed away on May 16, 2018.

Kirk Bingham
Camarillo, CA



Chief [Melvin] Leydecker was a well-liked officer and very competent. He was my chief two different times. I remember one of the first large brush fires I ever went to with him. We had an “officer’s meeting” next to my rig . . . so I listened in as to hear the plan. The cul-de-sac we were on was threatened and chief had a plan. What totally blew me away was his calmness under fire. A quality I always admired in firemen.

RIP Chief

Ed Sandell
Somis, CA


Dear Andy,

Please accept this donation to the WODFF in memory of my good friend and co-worker, Ken Dameron. Ken did an outstanding job while we worked together at OCD and the Fire Prevention Bureau.

Dal Howard
Valencia, CA


Retired LAFD Captain and longtime Long Beach area volunteer, Jim Jeffery, recently passed away. In his more than 50 years as a community volunteer, Jim Jeffery served as a mentor, role model, and surrogate dad to hundreds of boys and girls. Jeffery had a huge impact on scores of people in so many different area of the community, including creating scholarships for Eagle Scouts and taking a special interest in youngsters with disabilities.

Jeffery’s lifelong love affair with scouting started in 1952, when he joined Cub Scout Pack 30 and earned his first rank, Bobcat. He later became the 824th Eagle Scout awarded by the Long Beach Area Council in 1958 at age 14.

Jeffery enjoyed a long career as a Los Angeles firefighter, retiring as a captain from the LAFD in 1987. He later took on the role as assistant chief with the California Office of Emergency Services. He retired for good in 1998. In 2010, Jefferey earned his 50-year Scout Veteran pin and was elected president of the Long Beach Area Council. He became the second longest-serving president in council history. When asked to sum up his life, he did it in three words, “Be of service.”

Courtesy of the Press-Telegram, Public Editor—Rich Archbold

Comments are closed.

Back to Top