A firefighter is remembered

Published 11:06 am Friday, November 9, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – He will be remembered for his jokes, his everyday visits for cups of coffee or dinner and his words of wisdom. Most of all, he will be remembered for providing 50 years of dedicated service to the Niles Township Fire Department.
Ralph E. Vosburgh Sr., 86, passed away Friday, Nov. 2 after a short-term illness.
Firefighters at the township's fire station, located on Third Street, have set up a memorial in front of the building in his honor. A fire truck, fire coat, boots and a helmet sit by the road for everyone to see.
"This has been hard on all of us," Township Fire Chief Gary Brovold said. "Everyone has their own stories they remember about him and there weren't many days he would miss having coffee. His heart was here."
Vosburgh put out his last fire in 2003, when he retired from the station, but his work did not stop there. Brovold said Vosburgh would still participate in many things around the station and that his daily stops for cups of coffee in the morning were something the firefighters looked forward to.
"We always joked that he could never find his way home. He was here in the morning before work and would stop by after work," Brovold said.
Vosburgh was also part of the Niles Township Planning Commission and retired from National Standard after many years as a machinist.
Brovold said Vosburgh always knew what was going on. He had a story for everything and was always eager to share. That's where his nickname "Scoop" was born.
"He had the scoop on everything," Brovold said.
The memorial will remain on display in the front of the fire station through today and possibly tomorrow. The sign in from of the fire station reads "You will be missed."
"He was one of a kind. He loved life, he loved what he did, and most of all he loved his ice cream," Brovold added.
Vosburgh leaves a wife, Margaret "Peg" and two sons, Ralph E. Vosburgh, Jr. and Bruce (Lorrie) Vosburgh, who all live in Niles and one grandson, Scott.