#583 Rest In Peace Brother Still...

2009-12-08

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Today's post is tough for me to write as we lost a great man yesterday.

Bobby Still, a man who has brightened my day for the last 14 years, died yesterday afternoon at Osteopathic Hospital outside Harrisburg. He was 88 I believe...

Bobby, or Hook as he was called by many, was an institution in the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire. Not only an institution but more importantly a friend to us all.

He always brought a smile to our faces, and a warmness to our hearts. He was the grandfather of the HFD. Always stopping buy to check on us, share some laughter and for those who wanted some Atomic Fire Ball candy's. And for those who were really special maybe a Milky Way mini...

Bobby would stop by every morning for coffee, to look at the paper and to joke around, argue or tell crazy stories. On the days he didn't, which were few, we knew something must be wrong. On those days he was either under the weather or occasionally out running errands or tending to something important. But normally he was there.

He would come in, with his I've been up to something grin, toss the Atomic Fire Balls across the table at you and then get his coffee.

Normally he was greeted with some sort of banter like, "Oh Christ what the F*@% are you doing here" or "Get the hell out of here" and even an occasional Hey Bobby, what's up.

He would immediately begin to stammer and try and get out some sort of response that usually ended in a good morning or how are you.

But on some days Bobby was ready to give it back. Those were some of the funniest moments of my career. Listening to him go back and forth with whomever decided to take him on. God we would laugh and laugh.

On most occasions these arguments were over his mere presence or better yet his beloved Yankees. And really they could have been about anything really, you never knew.

One thing that you did know was that Bobby cared for the brothers and sisters of the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire as much as anyone in his family, with the exception if his wife whom he missed so deeply since she past away several years ago.

He cared about us as a whole and he cared for us individually. Always taking time to ask how we were or how was the family.

Sometimes he'd watch us roll out when a call came in and as we got ready he'd say, "I'll getchyer doors boys, I'll getchye doors" meaning he'd close the overhead bay doors so we could get out faster. Then he'd watch us roll down the street.

I never had the opportunity to fight fires literally with Bobby but I was always told he was a hell of a fireman. There is not much higher a accolade that can be bestowed upon you in the fire service and I am sure he was worthy.

Several years ago we took the time to acknowledge that fact that we cared about him too. The members of Local 428 of the International Association of Firefighters voted to make Bobby an honorary member of L428. I know this very much surprised him and also made his day. I know he was moved by the gesture and so proud of his membership.

Recently we could see that Bobby was deteriorating. Something that none of us wanted to witness but knew was inevitable. Last weekend we saw Bobby in what we felt would be the last time. Sadly that turned out to be true.

When Bobby would leave he'd say the same basic thing each day... "Be safe boys, good lord wiling, I'll see ya in the morning..."

I'll miss you Bobby, Rest In Peace Brother, Rest in Peace...

9 comments:

Angela Pinti said...

He is going to be GREATLY missed by all... I know I miss seeing his chipper face already... every morning, bright and early! Truly a ONE OF A KIND MAN! <3

Covey said...

He will be missed by all who entered those doors. Rest in Peace.

Cindy Williams said...

RIP Bobby you will truely be missed!!!!

steven said...

RIP Bobby. In my short time with Life Team I only had the chance to meet Bobby a few times but each was a memorable experience. He was always friendly and offered an atomic fireball. A true loss to the community.
Amazing write up Brian.
Steve Stilo

Brad Myers said...

Thanks Brian, Bob deserves a great tribute. I will miss him very much.

Josh said...

Rest In Peace, Brother

Woody said...

Brian and Brad,

Sorry for your loss. Sounds like Mr. Still was a class act in the department.

Rest In Peace

The boy's at said...

Great picture and well said "B".

Michelle Shoemaker said...

He was a special person, and im greatful for the friendship that we had! He will be missed. RIP Bobby!